An evangelical pastor in Egypt intends to open up school in Heliopolis which will inflict conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth in the area.
Pastor Tony George Rizk, creator of community youth service tC Egypt, said that the school — which will open on Dec. 26 and last eight weeks — is aimed at queer youth who want to change their sexuality.
Conversion therapy is a widely debunked practice that has been condemned by major health organizations. A variety of methods are touted as being able to “change” an LGBTQ person’s sexuality or gender identity, ranging from talk therapy to more extreme methods such as aversion or electroshock therapy.
Rizk, a member of the Evangelicals Association in Egypt and the Middle East, said in a statement that homosexuality can be “treated” and claimed that childhood trauma, bullying, and sexual abuse cause people to be gay.
The pastor claimed that “specialists” in sex addiction and sexuality would treat the youth, along with alleged “survivors” of homosexuality.
Rizk said he had a “responsibility” towards homosexuals, before referencing Bible passages focused on sexuality, include sex outside of wedlock being a “sin [that] must be dealt with.”
“Recovering from homosexuality is not impossible,” he said.
However, Rizk’s attempts will likely prove futile, given conversion therapy is a widely derided and debunked practice.
The United Nations recently urged a global ban on the practice, labelling it “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment” and saying it “may amount to torture depending on the circumstances.”
Research has found that conversion therapy more than doubles the risk of suicidal ideation among gay and bisexual adults, while transgender people subjected to conversion therapy as children are four times more likely to attempt suicide.
A number of former “ex-gay” leaders, who touted the efficacy of conversion therapy in attempts to force others to undergo the practice, have since come out as gay and decried the practice, admitting the harm it can cause to LGBTQ people.
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