A Christian advert in South Africa has sparked outrage for suggesting that being gay can be cured with the church’s help.
The billboard in Pretoria shows a half naked man ripping open his shirt with the word ‘homosexuality’ written alongside other afflictions, such as ‘drugs’, ‘porn’ and ‘alcohol abuse’, which the advert suggests can be overcome through ‘grace’.
‘Whom the son sets free is free indeed’ was the tagline.
The Advertising Standards Authority received several complaints about the campaign by the Light of The Nations Church and, despite the word being removed, have launched an investigation.
People have slammed the church on social networking sites, saying it sends a dangerous message to the general population.
‘Highly offensive poster,’ said Xander de Toit on the church’s Facebook page.
‘Didn’t mean to discriminate against a group but rather deal with daily life? If you replaced "homosexuality" with "white/black people"’
‘Right now they (the church) are in no way spreading the love of God,’ said Dawie Nel, of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support group OUT, reported IOL News.
He added: ‘It would have done them good to consult people who know about homosexuality and related issues.’
Light of the Nations Church senior pastor Deric Linley said in a statement on Monday (9 July) was intended to ‘highlight aspects and challenges of everyday life’ and not "sins".
He said: ‘It was never the intention of Light of the Nations to discriminate against any group, but purely to offer a non-judgmental refuge for people dealing with issues in their personal life.’