The trial of an evangelical preacher accused of branding Islam "heathen" and "satanic" has opened with gospel music being played in a Northern Ireland courtroom.

Pastor James McConnell has been charged in connection with the controversial speech made from the pulpit of his north Belfast church last year.

McConnell, 78, from Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, is being prosecuted at Belfast Magistrates Court under the 2003 Communications Act.

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