June 27, 2009

Gay rights groups criticise ‘homosexual demon’ exorcism

by Sara Levy

A YouTube video of a 16-year-old boy being exorcised of a “homosexual demon” has been criticised by gay and children’s rights groups.

The 20-minute video by Manifested Glory Ministries shows elders commanding the demon to leave the boy’s body as he writhes on the floor.

“Rip it from his throat!” one of the elders shouts. “Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!”

“You sex demon … you snake!” yells another

An official from the church denied that the church is homophobic, and said the teenager was not injured during the exorcism.

Patricia McKinney, pastor of the nondenominational church, told the CNN television network: “Manifested Glory Ministries is not against homosexuality. We do not hate them. We do not come up against them. We do just not believe in their lifestyle,”

McKinney, a self-proclaimed prophet, added that the boy “did not want to live this way” and asked to be “delivered” of the spirit.

True Colors, an advocacy group for gay young people, said the incident was not isolated and ‘happens all the time’ in churches across the US.

Robin McHaelin, True Colors executive director, said the organisation is aware of at least five cases in recent years where a young person on the programme were threatened with exorcism.

McHaelin described the YouTube video as ‘horrifying’.

“What saddens me is the people that are doing this think they are doing something in the kid’s best interests, when in fact they’re murdering his spirit,” she told the Associated Press.

Isaiah Webster, Director of Communications for the National Youth Advocacy Commission, said: “It’s very, very sad that this still takes place in society, and it’s unfortunate that young people still have to endure things like this.”

The BBC’s ethics and religion blogger, William Crawley, asked: “Is it time to have a serious conversation about religious abuse?”

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