Anti-gay church that believes headaches are caused by demons has site approved in Belfast
They may have been suspended from several countries, but The Universal Church of God (UCKG) has been approved to build a site of worship in Belfast.
The anti-gay Evangelical church, which is often described as a cult, has been approved to build a site of worship known as a ‘help centre’ in the Northern Irish city, reports The Belfast Telegraph.
This will be the first site the religious group will have officially opened in the country.
However, the Northern Irish city is not the first site in the UK to have a UKCG site.
The UKCG also have sites of worship, named ‘help centres’, in England, including 16 sites across London, including in Brixton and Finsbury Park.
The Evangelical movement has hit the headlines several times over the years, most recently for its claims that headaches and bad luck are “caused by demons.”
“Constant headaches, depression, insomnia, fears, bad luck, strange diseases… These are just a few symptoms caused by demons,” read a banned UK edition of a church poster, reports The Belfast Telegraph.
To date, the church has been banned in Zambia and Madagascar.
The church was also suspended in Angola after 16 people lost their lives at one of their stadium events, reported the Mail & Guardian.
In another controversial move, the church also requests that members donate 10 percent of their income to the movement.
They claim that it is an “ancient practice” followed by “God-fearing people everywhere.”
“The tithe is 10 percent of all income, and it belongs to God. This is a very ancient practice followed by God-fearing people everywhere,” reads the group’s website.
The UCKG was established in Brazil in 1977 by self-styled ‘bishop’ Edir Macedo.
One of its bishops, hardline anti-gay politician Marcelo Crivella, was elected as the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Marcelo Crivella is a bishop of Brazil’s Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, and has also enjoyed success as a right-wing politician.
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Crivella has a long record of anti-LGBT views, including describing homosexuals as “victims of a terrible evil”.
The Mayor also claimed that “botched abortions” cause homosexuality.
“Imagine being in your mother’s womb and your mother, for a number of problems, trying to kill you—and not being able to,” he said.
“How are you going to face the world later? It’s difficult,” he said in an interview.