Young Cape preacher Pickard Henn denies comparing ‘gay people to Hitler’

The former steroid-abusing bodybuilder claims he cannot explain why he's being targeted with untrue reports about his evangelising.

A Cape Town pastor said on Tuesday that reports that he had expressed extreme prejudice towards the LGBTQI community had been “twisted”, and he can’t explain why.

Cape Talk radio had reported that Christ in Action Ministries’ Pickard Henn had spoken at De Kuilen High School on Wednesday at a Christian student-hosted event, but his address had supposedly left “many children in tears”. The principal apparently even had to arrange for counselling for some of the worst affected.

Henn had allegedly said gay people were as bad as murderers and paedophiles and that “young people who had sex before marriage were prostitutes”, according to a source who spoke to the station. Cape Talk said they had confirmed the pupil in question was at the school, and they had also spoken to her mother.

Henn returned to the school for the “regular Christelike Studente Vereeniging assembly” on Friday despite supposed outrage at his first visit. He then allegedly upped the ante in his second address, reportedly comparing gay people to Hitler and expressing the view that African traditional healers (sangomas) were from the devil.

Henn strongly denied in a radio interview with host Kieno Kammies on Tuesday that he’d spoken about LGBTIQ people at all, and claimed he had a full recording of his sermon to prove it.

Though “deeply traumatised children” had said differently, according to the report, Henn found this inexplicable.

Based on his online presence, Henn visits numerous schools as part of his ministry, and said on Tuesday that he had taken issue with being introduced as a “motivational speaker”. He told Kammies that he did his preaching free of charge and that he had asked De Kuilen High to let him preach the “full gospel” or he would rather have got back in his car and gone home, because motivational speaking only lasted for “24 hours” while the gospel was eternal.

Henn is very active on social media and has confirmedly gay men as friends on Facebook, though it’s not known whether he knows this.

Nowhere in his public profile does he express any clearly discriminatory or divisive messages.

Pickard Henn in action at a school in a post he shared to Facebook.

On his website, the 28-year-old says he was a rebellious youngster who succumbed to peer pressure from “so-called friends”, which led to him becoming a drug abuser.

He said he fell in love with “a girl” when he was 19 and was into bodybuilding, steroids and cocaine. His girlfriend left him five years later, which left him suicidal and depressed.

He ended up on anti-depressants and sleeping pills and then “surrendered” his life to the Christian deity Jesus Christ after a failed suicide attempt.

Henn said that children were normally not forced to attend his sermons, as had been alleged, and he normally delivered them during breaks at schools.

The Citizen reached out to Henn for comment on Tuesday and he provided a link to his full sermon to prove his point. You can listen to it below.

He also clarified: “The CSV meeting which took place on Wednesday is not compulsory for any students to attend and took place outside of the ordinary school context.

“I was invited to come back on the Friday morning but was specifically asked not to raise any topics or scriptures that could implicate anyone in the LGBTQI community, to which I complied, as addressing students within a school environment is different from addressing Christians within a non-compulsory CSV event.”

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