The Netherlands has banned preacher Steven Anderson from entering the country due to his anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ views, according to Newsweek. He was supposed to visit the country later this month as part of a European tour that includes Ireland and Sweden. This decision comes after progressive Dutch organisations and Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema came together to demand that he be banned from the country.
In 2005, Anderson founded Faithful World Baptist Church in Arizona. The congregation has gained infamy for its extremist views. “Don’t expect anything contemporary or liberal,” the church’s website says. “We are an old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning Baptist church.” Its doctrinal statement even calls for gay people to be executed. Furthermore, he has reportedly denied the Holocaust, prayed for U.S. President Barack Obama’s death and praised the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
Responding to the decision to ban Anderson, Halsema said Amsterdam would be “relieved.” Echoing this sentiment, Spokesman for COC, an LGBT rights organisation, Philip Tijsma said the move was “a wise and good decision” and that the Netherlands should be closed “for people who incite hatred against LGBTIs and other minorities,” according to Newsweek.
Anderson has been banned from entering the United Kingdom and Botswana. Amber Rudd, British home secretary, said he was “unconductive to the public good.”