A pastor in Belfast is facing prosecution after calling Islam “satanic” in a sermon. Christian News Network reports James McConnell, 78, is being charged with a hate crime for his speech.
McConnell said in the sermon, “The God we worship and serve this evening is not Allah. The Muslim god—Allah—is a heathen deity. Allah is a cruel deity. Allah is a demon deity.”
He continued to say that Islam was “satanic” and “a doctrine spawned in Hell.”
McConnell has refused to retract his statements, though he apologized to anyone who took offense to his words.
The Christian Post reports McConnell plans to plead not guilty to the hate crime charge of making a “grossly offensive” statement. The pastor’s trial date has not yet been established.
If convicted, McConnell says he is “prepared to go to jail.”
"I have qualified my comments by reference to those who use their religion as justification for violence. As a preacher of the Word of God, it is this interpretation of the doctrine of Islam which I am condemning," he said.
Publication date: June 24, 2015