Posted by: becketfund | February 19, 2009

UK: Baptists Protesters Denied Visas

LONDON – Reverend Fred Phelps, an anti-gay U.S. preacher, and his daughter have been barred from entering Britain as they could spread “extremism and hatred,” the British government said on February 19, Reuters reported on February 19. The Reverend Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, had been due in Britain to protest at a play about the murder of a gay man. But Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she decided to prevent Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from entering the country. A Home Office spokeswoman said, “Both these individuals have engaged in unacceptable behavior by inciting hatred against a number of communities. We will continue to stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country.” Phelps believes the United States is doomed for tolerating homosexuals and that military deaths in conflicts such as Iraq are God’s punishment, and he organizes regular protests  around the country. His church achieved notoriety for picketing the funerals of U.S. servicemen.

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