Exodus International has responded to a 100,000-strong petition calling for its iPhone app to be banned.

The Christian group said campaigners were trying to “stigmatise” it and denied it was trying to “cure” gay people.

On its website, Exodus International says it can help people find “freedom from homosexuality” through prayer. It also practises ‘reparative therapy’ which claims to be able to turn gays straight.

Gay campaigners say the group uses “scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients”.

Responding to the campaign against the iPhone app, Jeff Buchanan of Exodus International told the Christian Post: “In no way shape or form is our message about trying to cure or do we try to promote that type of methodology or message.”

He added: “This is a label [‘gay cure app’] that has been put forth by opponents to the application to serve as propaganda in order to stigmatise and really label the application in a false way and provoking a response such as you are seeing with the application.

“Our message is to promote the love of Jesus Christ to all those who have been impacted by unwanted same-sex attractions,” he continued.

“Really, the point of the application is to provide the material that is also on our website in a smartphone format. Nothing more and nothing less.”

Mr Buchanan, who is the church’s senior director of church equipping and student ministries, said Exodus International was not in the business of “praying the gay away”.

Instead, he said: “Exodus believes the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. It is holiness. We promote the belief that one can live a life that is congruent with their faith. That is our mission – period. “

Calls for Apple to remove the app have been bolstered by a University of Minnesota professor who claims Exodus International has misrepresented his work on sexuality.

Dr Gary Remafedi said he wrote to Apple founder Steven Jobs and its interim CEO, Tim Cook yesterday to demand the app was withdraw.

He wrote that the app “erroneously cites my research in support of claims that homosexuality can be changed. … Associating my work with that of the ex-gay ministry and other unfounded treatments is professionally injurious and grievous”.

Apple has not commented.