Amazon is set to donate charitable proceeds to a church which encourages people to engage in gay ‘cure’ therapy, a futile, misguided, and often harmful practice condemned by organisations around the world.
Through its Amazon Smile programme, the trillion-dollar company gives 0.5 percent of the cost of any item you buy to a charity of your choice — from a list that now includes the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries’ (MFM) Glasgow branch.
Daniel Olukoya, who founded the Nigerian denomination in 1989, has written multiple books including prayers which seek to ‘free’ followers who are “caught in the bondage” of “homosexuality” and “lesbianism.”
He refers to gay people as “demonised” and held in “sexual bondage” in one prayer, which features the ‘sin’ of being gay on a list of “sexual perversions” which also include incest, bestiality and child sacrifices.
And earlier this year, the Liverpool Echo‘s reporter Josh Parry went undercover at the church’s Liverpool brach as a gay man who wanted help ‘curing’ his sexuality.
He was told to starve himself for three days so that he could escape the “deceit of Satan.”
One of the demonination’s more than 90 branches in Britain has now been accepted onto Amazon’s charitable programme, according to The Times.
This is despite the Charity Commission opening a statutory inquiry into the church in March.
The independent regulator wrote of its worries about “the adequacy of the trustees’ oversight and control over the individual branches.
“The Commission also has concerns about the trustees’ failure to promptly report serious incidents to the Commission and to the police,” the announcement continued.
In a statement given to PinkNews today (October 10), a spokesperson for the regulator said: “Our inquiry into Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries International is ongoing.
“As part of that we are examining the trustees’ oversight and control of the charity’s branches.”
A spokesman for Amazon said that it used the Charity Commission’s findings to work out whether it could allow an organisation to benefit from its Smile scheme.
However, due to the concerning allegations raised against MFM, he added that Amazon would review the church’s place in the charitable programme.
MFM told The Times that it doesn’t discriminate against anyone, with a senior representative denying that it promotes gay ‘cure’ therapy.
Amazon has stated in company documents that it “will not tolerate any illegal discrimination or harassment of any kind” from employees and expects “fair and ethical treatment, including non-discrimination,” from its suppliers.
In June, the company made a step in the right direction in terms of transgender rights, releasing a set of guidelines which taught employees how to support their trans colleagues.
The document emphasised the importance of using appropriate pronouns and confirmed that trans people were allowed to use the bathrooms and uniforms which matched their gender identity.
However, Amazon received criticism from its own staff in August for its reaction to several Pride posters being defaced at its headquarters.
At least 10 of the messages of support – stuck up inside lifts – were vandalised at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
This led the company to replace the posters and release a statement saying: “Posters are company property. Defacing posters is a violation of Amazon’s policy.”
This reportedly angered some staff, who argued that it did not go far enough in supporting LGBT+ rights.