A CHRISTIAN street preacher has come out in support of one of the world's top rugby union players who has been axed over his social media comment that homosexuals will go to hell.

Full back Israel Folau will miss this autumn's World Cup after his contract was ripped up by Rugby Australia following his Instagram post.

In it he uploaded a banner saying: "Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators - Hell awaits you."

Folau, who had been in trouble with the authorities before over previous posts but ignored their warnings, responded to his sacking by saying his "faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first".

Mike Overd, of Creech St Michael, who regularly preaches in Taunton town centre, branded the sportsman's treatment "appalling".

"His post is what the Bible says," said Mr Overd, who has been arrested and hauled before the courts on a number of occasions, but never successfully prosecuted. "It (the ban) is Christophobic. It's appalling.

"I heard (gay Olympic swimmer) Tom Daley saying it's okay for Mr Folau to have his beliefs but not to air them in public. That's censorship.

"What he should have said is it's okay for Israel Folau to have his faith and beliefs and to air it in public because homosexuals air their beliefs in public. It seems Christians aren't allowed to."

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Mr Overd added that Christianity made the West great and powerful, but the failure of Christians to strongly stand up for their religion has allowed "the support of atheism, secularism and humanism to rise up".

"Tom Daley says he knows good, kind Christians who don't say or believe what Mr Folau says - but they're not saying what the Bible says in black and white, it's not open to interpretation," said Mr Overd.

"What he's saying is like me claiming to be a vegetarian and then going to McDonald's and stuffing my face with a Big Mac, or like an atheist being caught in church praying."

He said the Bible prophesies that Christianity is going to be "slaughtered" and the persecution of believers is evident in North Korea, China, the Middle East and even Europe and Britain.

"When Jesus comes back, he'll put an end to all sin and all non-believers will end up in the lake of fire (Hell)," added Mr Overd.

"I love people and want to warn them of that."

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Mr Overd is in London this weekend, where he intends to preach outside New Scotland Yard in protest at a Nigerian preacher arrested for airing his views on the streets.

He may also preach outside England rugby HQ Twickenham to back star player Billy Vunipola, a devout Christian, who spoke out in support of Israel Folau.