Pastor James McConnell stands trial this week for calling Islam "heathen" and "Satanic" in a sermon last year.
"As I have said many times, I refuse to be gagged and if necessary will go to prison; but be assured, when I come out, I will start again and preach the truth of the gospel!" McConnell wrote before the trial.
McConnell says he delivered the sermon in May 2014 in defense of persecuted convert Miriam Ibrahim.
"This was my main reason for preaching that sermon," McConnell wrote. "Surely a so-called 'religious' organization (who brutally would do this to a young woman; mutilating thousands of women; and imprisoning, torturing, crucifying and beheading thousands of men) ought to be branded 'satanic'!"
Now, according to BBC, McConnell is charged with 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.
If convicted, McConnell will face up to six months in jail, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
The trial is expected to continue through Dec. 16. According to the Times Oracle, more than 100 of McConnell's supporters were present in the courtroom for the trial.
"This is about Christians fighting back," the pastor told the Telegraph. "There is an agenda at work to restrict our rights while allowing followers of other religions to say and act as they please.
"My sermon was 45 minutes long. They took a 30 second clip from it, blew it out of all proportion, and began this legal charade at immense cost to the taxpayer. Well, enough is enough."
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
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