A SCOTS pastor who was condemned for comments he made about Humza Yousaf has claimed his words were “twisted” and he was stating “facts”.

Dave Brackenridge, a senior pastor at Home Church Scotland, said during a sermon in October that the First Minister, a Muslim, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a Hindu who he mistakenly described as Sikh, “need Jesus” and suggested their appointments were the work of Satan when Christians “can’t get anywhere near the table in politics”.

We exclusively told in the Sunday National how Brackenridge, also CEO of charity Rookie Rockstars which operates in a number of Scottish primary schools, also railed against a “godless parliament” and “godless leadership”.

Brackenridge did not respond to multiple requests for comment but addressed the story in a 35-minute-long sermon following publication.

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He opened the meeting, streamed on YouTube, by claiming the story described him as a “hate preacher” and that it was “really poor journalism”, suggesting that his words had been taken out of context and that there was an agenda to “attack Christians”.

“It's absolutely not true, and we'll see how I move on with that moving forward,” he said.

“I find it funny how on Remembrance Sunday when we remember people that died so that we could have freedom of speech, that I seem to not be allowed mine.

“They question a sermon that I preached a few weeks ago, and everything I said was, I never actually even really shared opinions, I shared facts. I could have shared opinions but I didn’t, I shared facts and they've been twisted and used against us.

The National:

“And so there’s a bit of a hate campaign against me, unfortunately.”

During the sermon in October, Brackenridge had said: “How do we get to the place where we’ve got a Sikh [Hindu] Prime Minister and a Muslim First Minister but a Christian can’t get anywhere near the table in politics?

“How did we get there? Satan.”

Following the comments, the Humanist Society in Scotland said that Brackenridge should be suspended from working in schools due to the concerning comments that he would preach his religion even if it costs him his job.

In response, the pastor said there had been calls to ban him from schools because he is a Christian. “I don’t say anything about religion in school, I never have,” he added.

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Brackenridge did admit that he regretted saying his comments would have him “put in jail”.

“It’s just one of those things, you know me, I just kind of talk sometimes,” he said.

“The reason I said that is because I know there’s people out to get me, and I know there’s people that want to diminish Christians and cancel Christians and I genuinely feel that could be part of my future and where I’m going, I’m not saying I like it.”

He added: “I know that even when you’re not saying something wrong, people can attack it, that’s where that came from.”

The National: The pastor also made comments about the PMThe pastor also made comments about the PM (Image: PA)

Brackenridge then focused a large part of his sermon on how the Church should respond to “persecution” and “attacks”.

He also disputed that he made comments against transgender people. During the October livestream he said: “If I told you ten years ago that I could say I’m a lassie and stoat into a woman’s dressing room, you wouldn’t have believed that either. But we’re there.”

Brackenridge claimed he said, “males shouldn’t be allowed to dress as a woman and walk into a female’s dressing room” and that this was not an attack on trans people.

He also said he would not be making any responses online, responding to comments or doing interviews.

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“I'm just going to keep my mouth shut,” he said.

“And I'm going to lead the charge in the way that God's called me to lead the church and I'm going to speak the truth and we're going to do what we're going to do and then nothing's going to change that.”

Brackenridge later thanked the Sunday National for the publicity and that he prayed the “attempt to blacken” the Church would have the opposite effect.

We told how the pastor’s comments prompted concerns about the work of Rookie Rockstars in Scottish primary schools, and that the The National Lottery Community Fund, which had given the charity three separate grants totalling £28,640, had received a complaint regarding the comments.

And, the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) said it had assessed three complaints about Home Church Scotland in the past year, but that none breached charity laws.

Home Church Scotland has congregations in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, and the East End of Glasgow and Brackenridge joined in 2018.