At the Pride parade in Manila, Philippines over the weekend, a Christian group carried signs reading ‘I’m sorry’.
The group was identified as the Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries (FICM), a church based in Makati. FICM has been doing this ‘I’m sorry’ display for the past four years.
When the march ended at Marikina Stadium, they stood holding their signs for all to see.
Twitter user @JAMBIyutiful shared photos of the group on Twitter, where it has since gone viral.
‘I literally cried when I saw this kanina,’ they wrote. ‘Imagine living in a society with nothing but love and respect for each other.’
The hashtag #RiseUpTogether refers to the theme of the parade.
Other attendees also posted photos of the group.
Some of their signs read:
‘Can we hug you?’
‘I’m sorry Christians have shunned you’
‘I used to be a Bible-banging homophobe, I’m sorry!!’
‘Jesus didn’t turn people away, neither do we’
God is not against anyone
Val Paminiano, the pastor at FICM, spoke to BuzzFeed about their campaign.
‘We are apologizing for the way Christians have hurt the LGBT community, especially by using the Bible in condemning and judging them,’ he said.
‘I used to believe that God condemns homosexuals, but when I studied the scriptures, especially the ones that we call “clobber scriptures” that are being cherry-picked from the Bible to condemn LGBT people, I realized that there’s a lot to discover, including the truth that God is not against anyone.’
Paminiano continued: ‘We pray that more and more Christians will act, speak, and love the LGBT people like Jesus would.’