The Netherlands banned Steven Anderson, pastor of Arizona anti-LGBT hate group Faithful Word Baptist Church, from the country, bringing the number of nations that bar Anderson from entry to 31.
Dutch State Secretary of Justice and Security Mark Harbers was quoted on nltimes.nl that the government is “taking strong action against extremist speakers who, by spreading their beliefs, restrict the freedoms of others or even incite hatred or violence.”
The decision to prohibit Anderson from visiting the Netherlands came within eight days after a Dutch LGBT organization requested that action from the government.
Anderson is known for his anti-LGBT and antisemitic rhetoric. He has called for the deaths of LGBT people and celebrated the 2016 massacre of 49 people at the predominantly LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, by saying that there were “fifty less pedophiles in this world.”
Anderson was slated to visit the country for events planned for May 23 in Amsterdam, but LGBT rights organization COC Nederland, several Dutch MPs and Amsterdam’s mayor all urged the government to block him from entering the country.
In an email to Hatewatch, Philip Tijsma, manager of public affairs for COC Nederland, said that COC had sent a letter to the Dutch government and Parliament April 23 requesting the ban on Anderson, and on April 24, Tijsma said, a majority of Parliament spoke in support of COC’s request and the ban was effected May 1. “COC is happy that our call on the Dutch government to ban Mr. Anderson was successful,” Tijsma said. “The door of our country should be shut for people who incite hatred against LGBTI and other minorities.”
In Europe and the Global South, LGBTI is often used to refer to the community considered LGBTQ in the U.S. The “I” refers to Intersex.
Harbers confirmed that Anderson would also be denied entry into the Schengen, which, including the Netherlands, comprises 26 member countries, all in the European Union, that allow unrestricted movement of people across their borders.
The Netherlands is the sixth country to deny Anderson entry, but with his denial of entry to the Schengen, that total is 31. He has also been banned from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Botswana and Canada. Last year, he was denied entry into Jamaica.
Anderson had planned to do preaching and so-called “soul-winning” in Amsterdam, in which members of his congregation and other churches that are part of Anderson’s expanding network of the New Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement go door-to-door to proselytize. The website for the New IFB launched last year.
The two last known Americans banned from the Schengen were Jared Taylor of American Renaissance in March 2019 and white nationalist and “alt-right” figurehead Richard Spencer, in 2014 and again in 2017.
Photo illustration by SPLC