A popular Christian leader in Ghana has claimed that “most” gay people are Satanists.
The claim comes from Reverend Professor Emmanuel Martey, the former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
Martey made the claims over the weekend while speaking at the Agape House New Testament Church, as noted by Patheos.
He said: “It is a reproach — a disgrace — to a nation that sanctions homosexuality.
“Listen… you see, the homosexuals are, most of them, are Satanists, and they control the economy of a nation. They have money.”
He added: “You know, and these people are so militant that true Christians cannot withstand their militancy.
“They employ every philosophical, scientific argument. You know, ‘it’s genetic, what has happened to us is genetic. We were born that way.’
“Born that way… science is yet to prove that. No scientist, even homosexual scientists, have [proven it], you know?
“There’s no way for somebody to call himself a Christian and homosexual or lesbian at the same time.
“I don’t want any argument. They say they were born that way. Okay, you were born that way!
“But if you say you want to be a Christian, you see, there is something, a doctrine in Christianity called regeneration, being born again. If you were born homosexual, and you want to be a Christian, you must be born again.”
Homosexuality is illegal in Ghana and gay people can face up to three years in prison.
Human rights groups say that physical and violent homophobic attacks against LGBT people are still common, often encouraged by the media and religious leaders.
The President of Ghana recently said that the country is bound to eventually decriminalise homosexuality – but only after popular support grows.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who became the country’s President in January 2017, was asked in an interview with Al Jazeera whether he could see the country reform on LGBT issues.
The President likened Ghanian society to the UK in the 1960s, before the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
He said: “These social, cultural issues… I don’t believe that in Ghana so far, a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged to change public opinion, and have a new paradigm in Ghana.”
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
He added: “I think that it is something that is bound to happen.
“Like elsewhere in the world, the activities of individuals and groups [will lead to change].”
The leader continued: “I grew up in England, I went to school in England and I grew up at a time when homosexuality was banned there and was illegal.
“I lived there at a period when among British politicians it was anathema to even think about changing the law. But the activities of individuals and groups and a certain awareness grew and grew stronger, and it forced a change in law.
“I believe those are the same processes that will bring about changes in our situation.”
He added: “At the moment I don’t feel that in Ghana there is a strong current of opinion that is saying, this is something we need to deal with. It is not so far a matter which is on the agenda.”
The President’s comments were been seized upon by the country’s media, with some outlets falsely claiming that the President said the country “is likely to legalize same-sex marriage”.
The Christian Council of Ghana also led opposition to his claims.
President Akufo-Addo’s views mark a shift from those of his predecessor John Atta Mills.
Mills had reacted angrily to warnings that UK aid funding may be made contingent upon respecting human rights for LGBT people.