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.

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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas
film
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Digital Content Manager

£26000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Content Manager is re...

Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Application Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will b...

Recruitment Genius: Continuous Improvement Manager

£41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee