A minister in Nigeria is claiming to have “cured” a lesbian couple of their sexual orientation.
Temitope Balogun “T.B.” Joshua, is the founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), a Christian ministry in Lagos that runs Emmanuel TV, the largest Christian TV station in Africa.
In the clip below, two women come before Joshua, who lays hands on them to eradicate their “demons.”
Before the ceremony one of the women, who identifies herself as Mary Okoye, indicated the other woman was her wife. After Joshua smacks the women on the forehead and proclaimed “God loves you!”, they fell backwards dramatically, presumably filled with the spirit of the Lord.
The following Sunday, Mary returned to testify that “after the prayers that were ministered to me, I don’t have any affection for her whatsoever.”
This is not the first time Joshua, who has more than 3 million Facebook followers, has “ministered” to the LGBT community: Last year, he claimed to have turned a trans woman from Paraguay “back” into a man. And in 2015 he exorcised “homosexual demons” from a Nigerian businessman who claimed he was compelled to download gay porn after swimming with other men in a hotel pool.
Nigeria is one of 72 countries where homosexual acts are illegal: In the predominantly Christian south, offenders can face up to 14 years in prison. The maximum punishment in the 12 northern states that have adopted sharia law is death by stoning.
The Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2011 criminalizes entering into a same-sex union or joining an LGBT-rights organization. In April 2017, more than 50 people were arrested for attending what authorities claimed was a gay wedding in Zaria. That same year, a Snapchat star was arrested for coming out online and police in Lagos arrested 42 men at a hotel reputed to harboring homosexuals.
Politicians and religious leaders routinely use LGBT people as examples of failing morality and the influence of foreign ideology.
“Our youths are now publicly clamoring for the legalization of gay marriage,” government communications director Garba Abari complained in 2017, “and are about to boldly take the campaign to the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly to press for it as a fundamental human right.”