A self-styled preacher from California has caused outrage after saying that Nepalis should not rebuild temples devastated in Saturday’s earthquake and instead should convert to Christianity in order to “repent”.
Tony Miano, a former police officer, made the comments in a Twitter response to a CNN story on the disaster which killed nearly 4000 people in the Hindu-majority country.
Miano said: “Praying 4 the lost souls in Nepal. Praying not a single destroyed pagan temple will b rebuilt & the people will repent/receive Christ”.
Miano, who describes himself as an “open-air preacher” and who has previously spoken out against homosexuality, triggered scores of angry responses and was widely ridiculed. He also gained a significant number of new followers. Perhaps most glaringly of all, none of the church groups and ministries that follow Miano spoke out against the comments.
And he remained unrepentant, insisting there is “nothing more loving” than to call people to repent/receive Christ”.
It’s not the first time Miano’s been in hot water.
In 2013, he was arrested while preaching in London after he went on a homophobic rant on a sidewalk near Wimbledon. He had been visiting the UK with a sports group whose aim had been to “bring the gospel to England”.