Ghanaian Church Aims to Pray Away the Gay


The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) announced this week that it would be stepping up promotion of reparative therapy due to so-called concerns over the spread of homosexuality in the country.

From the Ghana News Agency:

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCG, Right Reverend Professor Emmanuel Martey said this at the commissioning of 36 Ministerial Probationers of the church at the Ranseyer Congregation, at Abetifi.

He said homosexuality was spreading fast in the society and urged the country’s leaders and Ministers to put up effective measures to check it and transform the destiny of the country.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCG said the church need leaders, who will go out of the ordinary, filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit to advocate for the deprived.

Ghana criminalizes homosexuality through its version of anti-sodomy laws that forbid “unnatural carnal knowledge,” but homosexuality seems to have recently become a focus for intensifying (and negative) political, social and religious discussion.

Reverend Martey is also said to have called on the government to announce a “clear” position on homosexuality and to help the church to combat “the spread of the practice in the society.”

The reparative therapy to be used will reportedly emphasize the importance of prayer and religion, and would also appear to lend itself to some form of exorcism practice.

Reverend Martey is quoted by Joy Online saying he has helped and seen others help individuals “come out of” homosexuality. When asked what causes homosexuality, he apparently had this to say:

Describing homosexuality as the result of demonic spirits, Rev. Prof. Martey said in addition to the counseling, they will be praying for them and we will let them go through a vigorous spiritual exercise and if it is spiritual, it will come out, they will be free.

The call for reparative therapy is troubling. Such therapy, whether religion based or otherwise, is a discredited practice the overwhelming majority of the mainstream scientific community has rejected as at best unproven and at worst severely damaging to those put through it. This move, however, seems to be an escalation of a problem that has been building for quite a few months.

Readers will recall that in July a Ghanaian official called for the immediate arrest of all gays and lesbians in the nation’s Western Region. Continued persecution of homosexuality in this manner would only draw international condemnation. However, the waters muddy when it comes to reparative based therapy, especially when cloaked in a religious ethos, given that, for instance, there are many forces in the U.S. that still feel such therapy is a viable way to treat gay people.

Related Reading:
“No Place” For Anti-Gay Discrimination in the Commonwealth
Ghanaian Woman Burned To Death As A “Witch”
U.N. Approves Resolution Against Anti-Gay Discrimination

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to abdallah.


James Campbell
James Campbell7 years ago

Can I take it from what you say "disordered people" that you have psychiatric qualifications? I do and I can assure you that homosexuality is NOT a 'disorder' neither is it a 'lifestyle choice'. I suggest that before you contribute to this kind of discussion you do a little research, which should also include collecting the data to prove what you say regarding "violence shown by homosexuals against people who do not support homosexual 'marriage'". Your opinion is probably based on a desire to pathologise anyone who is different to yourself and this makes you feel more secure. I am not gay, but I have many gay friends, I also work with teenagers who are gay (they are referred to me not because they are gay and disturbed, but because of the way they are victimised by society).

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Dominic C.
Dominic C7 years ago

Petition signed. Religion is playing fire against human rights. DANGEROUS!

Joe R.
Joe R7 years ago

Another great Evangelican Christian idea exported to the world by American homophobes. You aren't satisfied with the hate you've created here?

Mitch D.
Mitch D7 years ago

@ Michael M-- could not agree with you more. Sick of this type of BS and all supported by the US-religious right and the GOP for the most part!

Michael M.
Michael M7 years ago

It's too bad you can't pray away "Ignorant and Stupid" away from these bigots and a$$hats. :p

No matter what part of the world you live in and no matter what so-called religion, ignorance is not a virtue!

Robert F.

Homophobia is a biggie to the patriarchal church. The masculine ego sees itself as the superior gender, and any man who does not embrace that superiority through the expression of his hetero nature demeans the entire masculine half of humanity. Women "NEED" to be held under the thumb, or body weight of a man, in the missionary position. Any man who cannot do that for the sake of his brothers, is not a real man and deserves to be obliterated.

One of the main challenges to enlightenment in any religion is that of non-judgment. This includes non-attachment to dogmas. The "rise" in homosexuality could be seen in some small part as a test for those who see themselves as highly religious to get out of their dogmas and become compassionate and understanding. Every single human being, including those who do not fit patriarchal prejudices, contain the god essence within them. It is up to us to let that be and befriend them.

Hunter W.
Hunter W7 years ago

Don't these morons realize that not everyone follows their religion? Calling upon the government to help spread the word about a religious act that is directed towards discrimination is one of the stupidest things I have heard of in while...
If they don't like gays, then they don't have to interact with them. But don't try to tell them how to live their lives, and don't try to get rid of them. It's not gonna happen!!

Anastasia F.
Anastasia F7 years ago

I guess every country has to go through its own human rights abuse phase.

John B.
John B7 years ago

Look, these people merely have to be educated in their own religion and they may make it up to being part of the human race.
They have a minister preaching a perversion of the religion so how do you expect to derail this idea?
I am anti-gay However, I don't really give a damn what a couple of consenting adults want to do in their own home. I have no reason to attack or decry homosexuality. I simply state my position and if someone wants to dispute me with logic I'm all in unfortunately, I don't get those kinds of disputes.