Archive for July, 2009
(Photo: Exorcism in Russia – Source Unknown)
Exorcism of gays in the UK
Protest against abuse by fundamentalist Christians
London – 23 July 2009
Fundamentalist Christian churches in Britain are performing exorcisms on lesbian and gay people in a bid to purge them of their homosexuality.
“The exorcism rituals involve the casting out of alleged demons and witches that supposedly possess a gay person’s soul and turn them away from heterosexuality,” said LGBT human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“There are claims that gay teenagers and young adults are being subjected to exorcisms at the insistence of their parents and pastors, in an attempt to rid them of same-sex attraction.
“The exorcisms can include traumatic emotional scenes where the victims are surrounded by a group of church elders who scream at them to drive out the evil spirits and who sometimes shake their bodies.
“When this is done to youngsters under 18, it is a form of child abuse and the police should intervene to stop it.
“Some gay adults have been pressured into exorcisms by their family members or faith communities. Other victims are people with learning difficulties or mental health problems. They have been preyed upon when they are in a vulnerable state and are not capable of giving fully informed consent.
“There needs to be a thorough police investigation of all the churches that are doing these exorcisms,” said Mr Tatchell.
One London church admits it does exorcisms on four or five gay people every year. This church, United Pentecostal Ministry in Harrow north London, was exposed by The Metro newspaper late last month:
The church pastor, Rev John Ogbe-Ogbeide, said he did the ritual to cast out the demons and evil spirits that he believes are responsible for homosexuality. Sometimes people were calm during the process but sometimes their body convulsed, he conceded.
Exorcisms can be performed on gay children or on those who are suspected to be gay. There is no minimum age for the exorcism ceremony because a demon could possess a person at any age in life and could incline them to “wrong” sexual thoughts and behaviour, said Rev Ogbe-Ogbeide.
“United Pentecostal Ministry says it performs four or five exorcisms on gay people each year. It is just one of hundreds of fundamentalist churches in Britain. Gay exorcisms are likely to be performed in many of them. It is possible that dozens or even hundreds of LGBT people could be subjected to exorcism abuse in the UK. Because it takes place behind closed church doors and is kept secret, it is impossible to give an accurate assessment of the numbers involved,” added Mr Tatchell.
What you can do:
1) Protest to Rev John Ogbe-Ogbeide
United Pentecostal Ministry
8 Angel Road
Harrow HA1 1Jy
Calm, compassionate, rational arguments are likely to be more effective than a rant.
2) Ask your MP to press the police to investigate this church and other churches who perform exorcisms on gay people, in order to check that criminal acts of assault and homophobic abuse are not taking place. Cite the Metro letter below as evidence.
3) Report Rev John Ogbe-Ogbeide to your local police. Ask them to commence a criminal investigation to determine if the law is being broken. Give them a copy of the Metro article that follows as evidence.
4) Report what responses you get to the LGBT press and to the local paper.
Thank you, Peter Tatchell, OutRage!
Homosexuals left traumatised by ceremonial ‘cure’
25 June 2009
Gay exorcisms are regularly being performed in Christian churches in Britain, it has emerged.
The ceremony is being carried out to rid worshippers of the supposed demons which make them homosexual.
The pastor of one Pentecostal church in north-west London said he held four or five exorcisms a year and claimed they always worked.
However, gay campaigners said the 20-minute ritual often traumatised those on whom it was carried out.
Details of the practice emerged after a video of the exorcism of a 16-year-old American boy was posted on YouTube.
The footage was taken down amid calls for the church leaders involved to be prosecuted.
Here, the Rev John Ogbe-Ogbeide, who runs the United Pentecostal Ministry in Harrow, said he carried out the ritual to cast out evil spirits that were responsible for homosexuality.
He added: ‘The evil spirits are telling you what’s wrong is right, the opposite sex is not attractive.’
There was no minimum age for the ceremony because a demon could take hold at any point in life, said Mr Ogbe-Ogbeide.
Sometimes people were calm during the process but sometimes their body convulsed.
‘There are some who speak but we know this is the demon. The demon can speak through anybody,’ he added.
Mr Ogbe-Ogbeide last performed the ritual in January to help a young man, who was planning to marry his girlfriend but said he was also in love with another man.
He added: ‘He said if it carried on it would upset their plans to have kids and he wanted to live in matrimony.’
But the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said it was frequently contacted by people left traumatised by the experience.
Chief executive the Rev Sharon Ferguson, said ‘a lot of fundamentalist groups believe homosexuality can be cured’.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said he had heard of exorcisms on children, which was child abuse ‘pure and simple’.
He added: ‘Some adults who have been pressured into exorcisms have been preyed upon when they’re in a vulnerable state and not really able give fully informed consent.
‘They’re maybe people with learning difficulties or mental health problems. There needs to be a thorough investigation of all the churches who are doing these exorcisms.’
In March, it was revealed that a fifth of therapists, many in the pay of the NHS, had attempted to ‘cure’ patients of homosexuality.
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