A Christian charity held a protest outside the London headquarters of Barclays Bank on Thursday after the bank closed the charity's account due to pressure from LGBT activists.
The Core Issues Trust and The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice (IFTCC), a Christian ministry that counsels people struggling with their sexuality or gender identity, arranged the peaceful demonstration in London's Canary Wharf.
In 2020, Barclays Bank closed the IFTCC's account without giving a reason. At the time, the bank was the headline sponsor of the London LGBT pride event.
The bank account was closed at the same time the charity's founder, Dr. Mike Davidson, received several harassing calls and messages, including one text where the sender wished Davidson and his staff would be raped or killed.
According to The Christian Post, Barclays agreed to pay The Core Issues Trust $25,221 (£20,000) in compensation plus legal costs.
Still, The Core Issues Trust, the IFTCC and members of the ex-gay community gathered outside Barclay's HQ on Thursday to demonstrate against "viewpoint discrimination."
The protesters also delivered a petition with over 72,000 signatures to Barclays' CEO, Matt Hammerstein, calling for the organization's bank account to be reinstated.
"We want Barclays to acknowledge that in our world of competing ideologies, those who change their minds and go in new directions more consistent with their own goals should be protected and have the right to seek life goals meaningful to them," Davidson said ahead of the protest.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, who has backed the case against Barclays, said: "This was a cruel and orchestrated campaign by LGBT activists targeting a Christian ministry, and Barclays fell for it."
"Rather than standing up for free speech, Christian freedom, and minority rights, Barclays Bank Plc surrendered to the intimidatory tactics of LGBT activists," Williams added.
"We will continue to defend and stand with Mike Davidson and CIT and any Christian ministry who falls foul of the weaponizing of the 'conversion therapy' ban."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Dan Kitwood/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.