'HATE PREACHER': Pastor Steven Anderson

The American pastor who called on all gays to be killed, claims he is being persecuted by South Africans, who are apparently pranking him.

An online petition addressed to the Department of Home Affairs to keep Pastor Steven Anderson from entering South Africa for a recruitment drive in September has received more than 36 000 signatures.

Last week, the Arizona-based holy man posted a clip online claiming a series of adverts had been posted on classified site Craigslist, saying his church was giving away free stuff. The church had also been receiving stacks of pizzas they hadn’t ordered, and he had been inundated with magazine subscriptions and their respective bills.

Labelling the pranksters as “pathetic losers”, Anderson said the opposition only motivated him further, making him “want to fight harder”.

“You guys will be burning in hell. We’re going to be rewarded in heaven for the good works we’re doing,” he said.

In an interview with Radio Today, Anderson vowed to continue on his “soulwinning” mission to South Africa, even though the hotel and the restaurants he planned to visit have rejected him.

He insisted that his journey here was not about preaching against homosexuality, despite calling gay people “abominations”, “filthy” and “violent” in interviews.

Claiming he wasn’t “some fringe lunatic”, Anderson said he would find new venues to host him and his “70 to 80” South African followers.