28 May

Pastor McConnell to appear on Nolan Show

Pastor McConnell will be appearing on the Stephen Nolan TV Show at 10.35 tonight Wednesday, 28 May alongside a representative from the Muslim community.

The invitation to go on the programme comes following First Minister Peter Robinson’s public defence of the Belfast preacher earlier today and not due to the pastor’s appeal to Nolan to appear on the show last Sunday night.

“There isn’t an ounce of hatred in his bones” stated Peter Robinson to this morning’s Irish News as the Northern Ireland First Minister categorically backed Pastor McConnell’s denunciation of the Islamic faith.

The First Minister clearly didn’t sit on the fence either in relation to Pastor McConnell’s remarks arguing there appears to be an attempt to demonise the pastor.  “This is someone who preaches the gospel and has lived his life for Christ” said Mr Robinson, adding “it’s the duty of any Christian minister to denounce false doctrine. That’s a duty – so he’s perfectly entitled to do that – it’s an appropriate thing for a minister to do”.

Challenged over Pastor McConnell’s assertion that he did not trust Muslims, the DUP leader said he also did not trust Muslims who had been involved in “terrorist activities” or those who were “fully devoted to Sharia Law”.

With election fever now over and the NI21 story slipping down the news agenda Pastor McConnell is again back in the headlines over those controversial remarks made during a recent Sunday evening sermon when he denounced Islam as “heathen” “Satanic” and a “doctrine spawned in hell”. 

Pastor McConnell said his remarks were inspired after learning about pregnant woman Meriam Yehya Ibrahim (26), who has been sentenced to death in Sudan after refusing to recant her Christian beliefs.

A week and a half on, however, the pastor is still at the centre of a religious row which refuses to go away, but has already stated he will not bow to what he described as “powers of darkness”.  

The 76 year-old pastor’s comments sparked a police probe but so far no action has been taken against him.