Back in 2014 South African pastor Oscar Bougardt, above, was ordered by a court to stop preaching against homosexuality.
He didn’t. And yesterday Judge Lee Bozaleck in the Western Cape High Court handed him a jail sentence of 30 days, suspended for five years.
Bougardt was found guilty of hate speech and contravening the 2014 court order which told him to stop inciting hatred towards LGBT communities.
Judge Bozaleck ruled that he was found in contempt of court:
The respondent is found to have been in contempt of this Court’s Order of 11 August 2014 and he is committed in prison for a period of thirty days in respect thereof.
Bougardt said after the sentence:
I’m going to be very careful of what I say or publish in the future.
Last week it was reported that Bougardt, of the Calvary Hope Ministries, had been hauled to court by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) after he said on Facebook that homosexuality was a “curse”, a “disgrace”, that gays were “perverts” and that homosexual relationships were “from hell”.
Bougardt was supported by a group of pastors who insisted that the SAHRC, together with the court, was attacking the word of God. Said pastor Ferlon Christians, the leader of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP):
I am here because I wanted to see first hand what this is about. For us as the ACDP, is this an attack on Christianity, this is not about individuals. It is an attack on our Christian belief. If there is an attack, we must defend that. If pastors are prohibited from preaching what is in the Bible, we need to protect that.
Pastor Joe Sellidon said the courts will not gag the church:
We have instructions from God, to go out and tell everybody, they need to know that Jesus saves from any sin. The church needs to look past Oscar because the next pastor is in line to appear here.
We need to get support from the churches to support the matter, not the person. He is representing all of us. They won’t shut his mouth, if he goes to prison, he will still preach the word of God.
Hat tip: Paul Duveen