What people believe: Westboro Baptist Church
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The Westboro Baptist Church is one of the most highly publicised and widely criticised churches in America. As part of TNS' 'what people believe' series, we look at the beliefs and activities of its members... Who? The Westboro Baptist Church is an independent organisation in America known for its strong ideologies. Widely described as a 'hate group', the church is led by Fred Phelps and is largely formed of members of his family. In 1955, the church held its first public service and in 2011 it was said to have 40 members. The group is located near the Kansas State Capitol but its presence is felt around the United States as it claims to have picketed events in every state. What do they believe? The most widely publicised as prominent belief of the WBC is their strong stance against homosexuality. As such, the WBC condemns any religious groups which do not strongly criticise rights for LGBT individuals, believing that members of these churches are destined for hell.
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- Phelps and his followers picket approximately six events everyday.
- The WBC were filmed by Louis Theroux in his documentary, The Most Hated Family in America.
- The WBC did a re-make of Michael Jackson’s song ‘We are the world’ entitled ‘God hates the world’.
- In 2009, members of the WBC were banned from entering the UK after they had planned to picket an LGBT rights event.
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