A Christian denomination in Ghana is stepping up its promotion of so-called reparative therapy, aimed at converting gay people to straight -- a practice that is widely discredited by mental health professionals but still has adherents among the religious right in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Presbyterian Church of Ghana -- not connected with the Presbyterian Church (USA), which this year approved ordination of gay clergy -- is setting up centers around the African nation to offer "counseling and rehabilitation" to help "homosexual victims" become heterosexual, the Ghana News Agency reports.
In making the announcement while addressing ministerial candidates at a recent event, the Ghanian church's leader, the Right Reverend Professor Emmanuel Martey, expressed concern about the prevalence of homosexuality in the nation and also "called on the government to come out with a clear position on homosexuality in the country, to enable the church to offer the necessary support in helping to reduce the spread of the practice in the society," according to the news service.
Another Ghanian news source, MyJoyOnline.com, noted that Martey has "strongly condemned homosexuality, describing it as filthy, unbiblical, and un-African" and said the offer of counseling "does not mean the church is softening its position on homosexuality."
The site further reported, "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.'"