Pastor Steven Anderson is not a man who is short on controversy. In fact, the leader of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, was right smack in the middle of the proverbial storm earlier this June when the deadly shooting incident at an Orlando gay club saw dozens of people killed. Throughout that ordeal, Pastor Steven Anderson praised the shooting incident, celebrating how there are ‘50 less pedophiles in the world’. Needless to say, plenty of furore were whipped up upon hearing such a statement, and this has had other repercussions down the road. For instance, he is now banned from entering South Africa -- along with his associates.
Yes, you read that right. Allegedly anti-gay sentiments shared by Pastor Steven Anderson were his undoing when it boils down to his South African entry ban. He has been described as an "undesirable person" who has nothing but criticism for homosexuality. In addition, a country that has begun to heal from its wounds of apartheid not too long ago in world history claimed that Pastor Steven Anderson promoted hate speech, which leads to another black mark in their books.
According to South Africa's Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba after consulting with the leaders of the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, he made the stand that Pastor Steven Anderson would not be welcomed into the country. This certainly puts a spanner in the works of Pastor Anderson's plans, as he originally wanted to drop by South Africa later this week only to hear of his fate.
As long as you are an American citizen, there is no need to apply for a visa if you are going to visit South Africa. This is made possible thanks to a visa waiver program. However, it looks like the visa waiver program holds no water for Pastor Steven Anderson and his associates.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said, "I have identified Steven Anderson and members and/or associates of his church as undesirable persons. "I have withdrawn their visa exemption status, enjoyed by all Americans ... on the basis that I am certain they promote hate speech as well as advocate social violence."
It must be noted that homosexuality is regarded as illegal in majority of the countries on the African continent. This is due to the implementation of sodomy laws that were introduced during the time of the British colonial era, and further perpetuated by cultural beliefs.
However, South Africa happens to see itself as one of the more progressive nations in Africa, and it led the way by imposing a constitutional ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Pastor Steven Anderson does not look like he is going to lose much sleep over this ban though. He did leave a message on social media that he knows all about the ban, and "sorry for people who live in South Africa." This will not stop him from traveling around in Africa, as his next destination would be Botswana. What do you think of the travel ban -- is it too harsh?