Hundreds plan to protest against Sacramento pastor who praised the Orlando killings

More than 1,000 people plan to protest Sunday outside a Sacramento Baptist church where a pastor praised the Orlando, Fla., killings in a sermon.  

The protest is being organized through Facebook and is calling on people in Sacramento to gather outside the Verity Baptist Church on Sunday morning to decry the pastor’s praise of the massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub. So far, more than 1,000 people said they plan to attend the demonstration.

“It disgusts me that this immoral sacrilegious individual is spewing hatred and ignorance, and is condoning murder to his churchgoers who may not be old enough to see what true religion is instead of the brainwashing he is doing,” the statement read on the Facebook event page. 

“Our community is built on love and trust. We have our intra-social issues as any other community does, however we can band together when our community is hit with intolerance, indecency, hatred, ignorance, and blatant bigotry.” 

Pastor Roger Jimenez touched off a firestorm of controversy after he posted a YouTube video of his sermon in which he praised the June 11 massacre of 49 people and called the victims pedophiles and predators.

“I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight,” he told his congregation, equating members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community to sexual predators. “The tragedy is more of them didn’t die…. I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job!”

Jimenez also said if it were up to him, gays and lesbians would be lined up against a wall so a firing squad could “blow their brains out.”

The video, which has since been removed, triggered backlash against the church and pastor from religious leaders and the LGBT community.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson condemned Jimenez’s statements and a group of 700 area pastors known as the Sacramento City Pastors Fellowship issued a statement to denounce the pastor’s comments.

A Change.org petition was also started to have Jimenez removed as the head of his church.

ruben.vives@latimes.com | Twitter: @latvives

joseph.serna@latimes.com | Twitter: @JosephSerna

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