Prosecution of ‘Satanic Islam’ pastor James McConnell ‘could have chilling effect on churches’

The prosecution of a controversial preacher who called Islam “satanic” in a sermon streamed live on the internet could have a chilling effect on other churches with an online ministry, it has been claimed.

Firebrand preacher Pastor James McConnell is accused of sending a “grossly offensive” communication under the Communications Act 2003.

Pastor McConnell, who ministers at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in north Belfast, has said he intends to plead not guilty to the charge. The 78-year-old is due to appear in court in August and has told the Belfast Telegraph that he has no regrets about what he said and is prepared to go to jail for it if necessary.

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