A Fletcher church has defended members who were distributing pamphlets that said "Heaven or hell, it's your decision" outside entrances to Newcastle Pride's Fair Day on Saturday, after several attendees wrote on social media they felt "targeted" by the pamphlets, some of which were left in handles of cars.
Grace Bible Baptist Church pastor Charlie Haddad said his congregation had not been targeting a specific group but "go where the people are" every weekend.
"If there are events in Kurri Kurri, if there's a fair there, we go. We even go to the Central Coast," he said. "You won't see the word homosexuals on the pamphlet. This message is for everybody, including ourselves, and people have a right to agree or disagree with it."
The pamphlet quoted bible passages describing hell, and stated that people will receive the gift of eternal life only if they were born again.
Mr Haddad would not specify where else pamphleteers were on Saturday, saying "there were different people in different suburbs". However, he mentioned that members were also handing out pamphlets on Beaumont Street on Saturday evening.
Mark Power, 55, of Pacific Palms, said he was concerned for "young, impressionable people" after he found the pamphlet in the handle of his car, on Denison Street, when he left the Newcastle Pride party at the Cambridge Hotel, which was actually "Heaven and Hell" themed.
The pub has one side on Denison Street.
Mr Power said all the cars he could see on the street had had the same treatment.
"They've specifically targeted the LGBTIQ community and made people feel inferior for who they are," he said.
Reverend Dr Rod Pattenden of Adamstown Uniting Church, who is openly gay, said the pamphlets were "spreading hate".
"I'm just glad that we were at Fair Day offering an alternative face to the church," he said. "I think these pamphlets are coming from a group whose ideas are based on fear, and that's not good religion.
"God loves diversity and god doesn't want us to be all the same."
A duty officer for Newcastle City Police District said there was no records of officers issuing move-on orders to the pamphleteers on Saturday.
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