A Christian ministry in the United Kingdom recently received death threats, had its bank accounts closed, and saw Instagram and Facebook removed content from their pages. In addition, Core Issues Trust, which is committed to supporting men and women who voluntarily want to try therapy and counselling for unwanted same-sex attractions, also had their accounts suspended with Mailchimp and PayPal, Fox News reports.
The trouble for CIT started on July 3rd, when users on Twitter started putting pressure on Barclays to close the ministry’s accounts, saying that CIT supported harmful “conversion therapy” methods. Two weeks later, CIT received a notification from Barclays notifying them that their accounts would be closed.
According to Forbes, activists appealed to Barclays because the bank is the lead sponsor of “Pride” in London and Twitter users argued it was hypocritical of them to claim to support the LGBTQ community while offering services to CIT.
In a recent statement, Mike Davidson, the CEO of Core Issues Trust addressed the harassment his ministry has faced and answered the charges that they engage in conversion therapy. Regarding the closing of their accounts, he said, “A coordinated campaign has resulted in our ministry coming under immense pressure and key service providers canceling their services, action which we consider discriminatory.”
Then, Davidson addressed the accusations that the ministry practices conversion therapy. He said, “This is a pejorative, imposed term, coined by an American gay activist, Dr Douglas Haldeman in 1991, that names some extremes such as electro-shock and aversion techniques only ever conducted by medics, long since abandoned from the 60s, or extreme behaviours already outlawed such as ‘corrective’ rape for which there are no prosecutions in the UK. Because the term speaks of talking therapies and counselling as “pseudo-science” in association with these extremes, to be heard defending talking therapy and counselling for unwanted same-sex attractions is then taken to be a defence of the indefensible ‘Conversion Therapy’ label. We reject this accusatory term.”
The U.K. Government Equalities Office recently responded to calls to ban conversion therapy after an online petition emerged with 200,000 signees. According to Faithwire it said, “Conversion therapy is a very complex issue. There are a wide range of practices which may fall within its scope and we want to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the situation in the U.K. to inform an effective approach. We are not trying to prevent LGBT people from seeking spiritual support from their faith leader or others in the exploration of their sexual orientation.”
Andrew Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, a ministry committed to preserving religious freedom in the U.K., sounded a warning about what could come next if the actions against CIT stand. He said, “If it is CIT first, it will be churches next. This kind of demonization and refusing of services to a Christian ministry is reminiscent of how Jewish businesses were treated under Nazi rule.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Christian Ouellet
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”