A leading gay rights campaigner has criticised a church's plans to bring a controversial pastor connected to homophobic teachings to preach in Scotland.

The evangelical Hope Church is to bring South African pastor Angus Buchan - who has spoken against homosexuality and advocates strictness over traditional male and female relationships - to Galashiels in the Scottish Borders later this month.

It is the only Scottish date in what was described as the former farmer's UK Tour which is being held throughout August.

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It is also claimed the preacher, who has attracted protests over his hardline preaching at sermons and gatherings, has performed "miraculous healings".

The pastor holds so-called mighty men gatherings in South Africa which are attended by thousands of men and boys who pay entry to the open air events where Mr Buchan preaches.

Concerns have been raised over Mr Buchan's views on how he defines the roles of men and women in the household but his attitude towards homosexuality is the most controversial aspect of his ministry.

He reportedly said: "I cannot ever agree that homosexuality is right, I cannot bless it.

"I love them though, but they need help.

"We have prayed for them and God has changed their hearts."

Read more: Church stands by US jet row pastor's Scotland visit

Peter Tatchell, below, an internationally renowned LGBTI rights campaigner, was among those to criticise the move.

The Herald: Peter TatchellPeter Tatchell

He said: "It is very disappointing that Hope Church has chosen to invite a preacher whose view has been described as misogynistic and homophobic.

“His defence of male headship in traditional male and female roles is backward-looking and offensive.

“The idea that gay people need help and can be cured of homosexuality by prayer is equally lamentable and is untrue.

“Angus Buchan’s ideas seem far removed from Christ’s teachings of love, compassion and inclusion.”

Read more: Church stands by US jet row pastor's Scotland visit

The Hope Church in Tweedbank, which has around 100 members, is part of the evangelical network called New Frontiers, which operates globally and lists over 200 associated churches in the UK after being founded by Terry Virgo in England in 1979.

The Hope Church said it is charging £5 a ticket to cover the costs of the Volunteer Hall venue.

Senior pastor Mike McLeister insisted "we as a church steer well clear of homophobic organisations and events".

He also said: "We are very excited about Angus’s visit.

"His previous visits to Scotland have been marked by miraculous healings and the powerful work of God in people’s lives.

"We believe it is significant that he is coming to the Borders at this time and we are expecting his visit to have a major impact on the area.”

Read more: Church stands by US jet row pastor's Scotland visit

Mr McLeister referred further questions about homophobia and miracles to Mr Buchan's Shalom Ministry, which did not respond to the request for comment.

Garry Otton, secretary of Secular Scotland, said that "Angus Buchan is another 'pray-away-the-gay' snake-oil salesman".

He said: "Science marginalises many men like Buchan into fairground sideshows."

Mr Buchan, who is of Scots descent, founded his own ministry and also set up an orphanage after initially adopting 27 children along with his wife Jill, which is now home to 200.

His biography says he is originally a Zambian maize and cattle farmer who was forced to sell everything and move to Greytown in KwaZulu-Natal in 1976 due to political unrest in Zambia.

He started the Shalom Ministries in 1980.