Botswana Bans Anti-Gay U.S. Preacher Steven Anderson

Steven Anderson
A screenshot from a YouTube video posted on September 12 shows Steven Anderson, a controversial U.S. preacher, speaking. The preacher was banned from entering South Africa and is now being deported from Botswana. YouTube/Steven Anderson

Botswana is deporting an American preacher who has made openly homophobic statements and who was recently banned from entering South Africa.

The Botswana government tweeted Tuesday morning that Steven Anderson, a preacher from the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona, had been declared "a prohibited immigrant" and as such was being deported from the southern African country.

Botswanan newspaper Mmegi reported that Anderson was being held at the country's immigration department awaiting deportation.

Steven Anderson's photographer Paul Wittenberger has been released but is now left stranded at Immigration Dept while his pastor is held inside awaiting deportation. #StevenAnderson

Posted by MMEGI on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Botswanan immigration officers reportedly detained Anderson following an interview with national radio station Gabz FM in the capital Gaborone. During the interview, Anderson stated that he thinks the government should be killing homosexuals and that people who commit adultery should be stoned to death.

The Botswana Ministry of Labor and Home Affairs, which deals with immigration, was not immediately available to respond to clarification as to why Anderson had been banned. The U.S. Embassy in Botswana was also unavailable for a comment.

Anderson was due to lead what he described as a "soul-winning marathon" in South Africa and Botswana earlier in September. The preacher was forced to avoid South Africa, however, after Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba banned Anderson from entering the country. LGBT groups had petitioned the minister to stop Anderson from entering, and a petition to that effect gained more than 7,000 signatures.

Following the ban, Anderson said in a Facebook post on September 13: "I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa, but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana. Stand by for reports of multitudes saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists."

In his latest video update from Botswana Monday, Anderson claimed that 65 people had been "saved through soul-winning."

Anderson has courted controversy before, particularly for his statements regarding the LGBT community. Following the Orlando massacre in June, when gunman Omar Mateen killed 50 people at a gay nightclub, Anderson said that the "good news" about the killings was that there were "50 less pedophiles in the world."

The preacher has also reportedly denied the Holocaust and prayed for the death of U.S. President Barack Obama over his stance on abortion.

Botswana Bans Anti-Gay U.S. Preacher Steven Anderson | World