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Louis Theroux meets the Westboro Baptist Church for the first time in eight years

Louis will explore how the church has changed since the death of it's founder

Emmy Griffiths

We always love tuning into Louis Theroux's documentaries, but his meetings with the Westboro Baptist Church, firstly in 2006 and again in 2011, were certainly ones to remember. In Sunday night's one-off special, Louis Theroux: Surviving America's Most Hated Family, Louis met them for a third time to explore how the church has changed since the death of the founder, Pastor Fred Phelps, who passed away in 2014.

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The official synopsis for the BBC Two documentary read: "Since [Fred's] death in 2014 the church has experienced significant changes which have threatened to tear apart what was once a tight-knit family community, and had their relevance challenged in Trump's America, where outrageous statements are par for the course. As well as a series of allegations about Pastor Phelps' final days, including rumours of mental illness and his excommunication, the church has also been hit by a number of high-profile family defections, including Pastor Phelps's granddaughter Megan - now Westboro's most prominent critic."

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During the episode, Louis met new members of the church, including Bradford-born Mathias Holroyd. Speaking about making a third film to Stylist, he said: "After the second one, which I was very pleased with, I thought, 'Well, we've done that now'. The second one was feistier and more oppositional, more argumentative than the first one. The first one was figuring Westboro Baptist Church out and learning who they are and what they stand for... Enough time went by and I began seeing signs they were starting to change a little bit. Specifically, that this rather extraordinary ex-member called Megan Phelps was beginning to campaign in a very thoughtful and informed and sensitive way for tolerance and understanding."

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