Botswana president Ian Khama said today that he had ordered the arrest and deportation of Steven Anderson, the pastor of the anti-LGBT hate group Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. Khama told Reuters that he ordered Anderson’s arrest and deportation after Anderson said in an interview with a local radio station in Gabarone, the capital, that LGBT people should be killed.
“He was picked up at the radio station,” Khama stated. “I said they should pick him up and show him out of the country. We don’t want hate speech in this country. Let him do it in his own country.” Khama also said that Anderson had been put on a visa watchlist two days ago after he was banned from entering South Africa, but it appears he entered Botswana before all border posts were alerted. Anderson claimed in the radio interview that he entered Botswana on September 15 via Ethiopia.
Anderson was just banned last week from entering South Africa after groups organized a campaign to call attention to his virulent anti-LGBT views, which include calling for the deaths of LGBT people and celebrating “50 less pedophiles in the world” after the massacre of 49 predominantly LGBT people at a nightclub in Orlando in June.
Another media source, Mambaonline.com, reported that Anderson allegedly assaulted a 59-year-old man this past weekend in Botswana who questioned his views on homosexuality. The man has said he will file charges against Anderson.
The assault allegedly occurred at a church started in Gabarone by a member of Anderson’s congregation, Garrett Kirchway. According to the Faithful Word website, Kirchway has been a member of the church since 2008 and planned to move permanently to Africa in September, 2016. Faithful Word claimed it would be paying Kirchway’s salary until the church in Botswana (FWBC Botswana) became independent.
Anderson has claimed that he was not deported from Botswana. “I am not being arrested,” Reuters reported him saying. “I am leaving Botswana voluntarily,” he told witnesses at the radio station.