Malaysia Airlines flight MH17: 'God Hates Fags' Westboro Baptist Church says crash was an act of God
The church is known for picketing the funerals of service personnel
As tributes poured in for the 298 people who died on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, members of a notorious American church said the crash was a punishment by God.
Less than a day after the tragic incident, the Westboro Baptist Church made a number of posts on its Twitter page regarding the plane crash itself, as well as a group of Aids researchers who were on board the flight.
The Church, founded by the late preacher Fred Phelps, is known for its extreme ideologies - particularly its anti-homosexual stance. Its members often picket the funerals of US service personnel, believing their deaths are God’s punishment for the American government legalising homosexuality.
Alongside a tweet featuring the words “God’s Wrath is Revealed” in flames, the Church posted a link to a page on its website explaining its belief that God caused the crash to gain the attention of the countries whose citizens were on board.
Westboro Baptist (@WBCSays) July 18, 2014
Read more: US believes plane was hit by surface-to-air missile
British family missed flight due to lack of seats
Friends and family pay tribute to victims of the crash
Russia Today presenter quits over crash coverage
Why was passenger plane flying over conflict zone?
“When God wants your attention, He knows how to get it. @WBCSays [the Westboro Twitter account] warned you that if you refuse to repent of your many whoredoms Dutch, Malaysians, Aussies, Indonesians, Germans, et al. YOU WILL PERISH!” the post read.
A second tweet was a reply to a user who posted a comment made by Canadian HIV researcher, Trevor Stratton. He asked ABC News on Friday: “What if the cure for AIDS was on that flight?”.
Stratton's comments referred to the news that a world-renowned Dutch Aids researcher, Joep Lange, and around 100 other Aids workers were headed to a an Aids conference in Australia when the plane crashed, according to the World Health Organisation.
The Church responded: “No cure for God's curses!”, adding in a separate tweet: "Only Cure=stop sinning! #Repent”.
Read more: Malaysia Airlines was already in crisis
World dreads international consequences
How does this compare with previous air disasters?
Twitter users were quick to slam the messages, with Kiki the Chihuhua writing: “@WBCSays there is no cure for you #hate #Westborolostcause #goaway."
Meanwhile, at the scene of the crash in Ukraine, 181 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage by midday, according to emergency workers.
Malaysia Airlines and relevant governments said the passengers included 192 Dutch, 29 Malaysians, 28 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Vietnamese, three Filipinos and one person each from the US, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Malaysia Airlines regional vice president Huib Gorter told reporters at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport the carrier was making an initial payment of $5,000 to families of all victims to cover their immediate costs.
Additional reporting by AP
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
Mohammed Emwazi: Family of man named as 'Jihadi John' described by neighbours as 'normal Muslim family'
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we know about Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
Mohammed Emwazi: Man identified as Isis killer 'Jihadi John' 'stopped by MI5' while on safari holiday in Africa in 2010
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...
£13000 - £13500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...
£18000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Long-established Energy Brokers...