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NI pastor charged over a sermon in which he branded Islam 'satanic'

First Minister Peter Robinson involved himself in the controversy by defending Pastor James McConnell.

Image: BBC/The Nolan Show via YouTube

THE PREACHER WHO found himself at the centre of a controversy last year after making incendiary remarks about Islam has been charged.

After Pastor James McConnell’s sermon was posted on the internet it attracted widespread criticism and led to a police investigation into whether he had incited hatred.

McConnell had described Islam as ‘satanic’, ‘heathen’ and a “doctrine spawn in hell”.

Now, he is set to be prosecuted for the comments, according to The Irish News.

He was questioned last June by police at a station in Antrim.

Apology

McConnell initially stood over his remarks, but later reverted and apologised, saying, “I am saying sorry to those who may have been harmed. Because that was never my intention. My intention was to preach against the Islamic doctrine.”

The comments caused a controversy at the time when Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson weighed in to say that he knew Pastor McConnell and that there was not “an ounce of hatred in his bones”.

Prosecution

According to the Public Prosecution Service he had been offered an informed warning but refused it.

In a statement, they went on to say that seeing as the offer had been refused, the service was now proceeding with a summary prosecution.

McConnell had made his comments at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle mega-church in Belfast, where his sermons regularly attract more than 2,000 people.

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