Russian Orthodox Church says church can “cure” homosexuality
A leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has said that the church has the power to “cure” homosexuality through conversion therapy.
The diocesan bishop of the Moscow diocese Metropolitan Hilarion said that the church can make LGBT+ people straight in order to make them “a fully-fledged family man.”
“The pastoral experience of working with people who have homosexual orientation shows that in many cases a person can either completely get rid of it or build his life so that it does not prevent him from being a full-fledged family man,” explained the head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow patriarchy Illarion telegram channel Pop Digest.
The leader said that he had “a great deal of experience” in “curing” LGBT+ people, and believes that the church can make gay, lesbian and bisexual people straight.
“Recognizing homosexuality as a sin, we strongly disagree that homosexual relations are equalized with the natural relationship between a man and a woman,” the religious leader also said.
Although the bishop’s jurisdiction is limited to Moscow, he has other canonical powers that can influence the rest of the country.
Since the introduction of Russia’s gay propaganda law in 2013, the rights and safety of LGBT+ citizens have been in disarray.
While some have fled in order to avoid persecution, some bear the brunt of violent hate crime, with some incidents proving fatal.
Although conversion therapy is illegal in several countries including China and Malta, it is still legal in the UK.
Groups such as the Evangelical Christian Concern say that they “treat” around 14 people a week to make them “ex-gay”, and have attempted to host film screenings advocating the treatment.