Pastor James McConnell on trial for 'satanic Islam' sermon

The trial of a Protestant pastor who called Islam 'satanic' begins today in Belfast.

Pastor James McConnell says he's 'going to take my stand for the Lord.'(Facebook/Pastor James McConnell)

Pastor James McConnell, 78, from Co Antrim, said 'Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell' in a sermon posted online last year.

He is being prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Act for improper use of a public electronic communications network, and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network. He denies the charges.

McConnell made the comments in a sermon at Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in north Belfast in May 2014.

"People say there are good Muslims in Britain – that may be so – but I don't trust them. Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell," he said.

The trial began on Monday at 10.30am and is expected to continue for several days.