Controversial Tempe pastor banned from setting foot on Ireland

DUBLIN, Ireland (FOX 10) -- A controversial Tempe-based pastor has been banned by Irish government officials from setting foot on the Western European country.

According to reports by Ireland-based newspaper The Irish Times, Ireland's Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, signed an order that immediately bans Steven L. Anderson from setting foot on Ireland, exercising exclusion powers granted to the country's Justice Minister under a 1999 law on immigration.

According to The Irish Times' report, this is the first time an exclusion order has been signed by an Irish Justice Minister since the 1999 law was enacted.

According to the Faithful Word Baptist Church website, which Anderson is the pastor of, he was scheduled to preach in Dublin on May 26. The website, however, did not list a location for the event. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists the Faithful Word Baptist Church as an anti-LGBT hate group.

Anderson himself has been at the center of controversies. In 2015, the Anti-Defamation League accused Anderson of making and posting to YouTube a video denying the existence of the Holocaust, The ADL also accused Anderson of making a film that called Jews the "followers of the Antichrist".

According to an article published Monday by the New York Times, Anderson said he hated former President Barack Obama 2009, and prayed for his death. The article also said Anderson has called for the extermination of all gay people by the U.S. Government, and welcomed the murder of 49 people in the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in 2016.

According to The Irish Times, Anderson has already been banned from most European Union countries, with the Dutch government banning the pastor from the Netherlands recently. The pastor is also banned from setting foot on the United Kingdom.

FOX 10 reported on this story from Phoenix.