Tuesday, January 5

Irish pastor James McConnell cleared over 'satanic Islam' sermon

A retired pastor has been found not guilty of making "grossly offensive remarks" about Islam during a sermon in Northern Ireland.
Pastor James McConnell, 78, from Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast, had described Islam as "satanic", "heathen" and "a doctrine spawned in hell".
He was charged under the Communications Act (2003) because the sermon, which he preached in May 2014, was streamed online.
In a landmark case, he denied charges of making improper use of a public electronics communications network and of causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network. 
During a three-day trial last month, Pastor McConnell told Belfast Magistrates Court he still believed what he had preached and did not go into church to "provoke anyone".
He said: "I was attacking the theology of Islam. I was not attacking any individual Muslim." 
Summing up their case, the prosecution said Pastor McConnell, of Shore Road, Newtownabbey, was "not on trial for his beliefs" but for what he said.

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