06 August 2015

Pastor James McConnell in court over online 'satanic Islam' sermon

An evangelical preacher who called Islam "satanic" and "heathen" should have every right to criticise other religions, a court has heard.

Pastor James McConnell appeared in court on charges relating to the internet broadcast of a sermon he gave at a Belfast church last year.

Belfast Magistrates' Court was told Pastor McConnell will be denying "moral or legal culpability" on the charges.

Several hundred people gathered outside the court in support of the preacher.

His solicitor said the 78-year-old "did not incite hatred or encourage violence against Muslims".

"He simply expressed his view about another religion, not in a personalised manner but in an entirely generalised way," he added. [BBC] Read more