Steven Anderson is a virulently anti-LGBTQ preacher from the United States, who has compared gay people to ax murderers and Adolf Hitler, believes that all gay people should be executed, and admitted he would reject his children if they were gay. He is the lead pastor at Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, but also seeks to spread his violent ideologies to other countries.
In September 2016, Anderson was barred from entering South Africa after more than 60,000 people signed a petition opposing his visit, and later that month he was deported from Botswana on the basis of his anti-LGBTQ “hate speech.” He was also barred from the United Kingdom during that same time period. According to a spokesperson for the Home Office of the UK, “The Home Secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds.” The spokesperson further noted, “Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who seek to subvert our shared values.”
Anderson, however, remains undeterred. Rev. Oscar Bougardt, the South African pastor responsible for inviting Anderson in the first place, has plans to open two new churches in the country, with Anderson’s involvement. In Malawi, Faithful Word Baptist Church has also launched a new branch headed up by Garrett Kirchway, one of Anderson’s followers. Kirchway and Anderson have also lead missions in Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, advancing their agenda into the Caribbean.