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Facebook shuts down Christian ministry's page with no explanation

Facebook shuts down Christian ministry's page with no explanation

Facebook still is the largest social network in the world as of 2018, with 2.2 billion monthly active users. | (Photo: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer)

Facebook has removed the page of Restored Hope Network, a Christian ministry that helps those with unwanted sexual attractions and gender confusion.

While no explanation was given as to why the page was taken down, the ministry believes the social media giant's move is part of ongoing efforts in support of government prohibitions on the practice of what some refer to as "conversion therapy," a phrase RHN maintains has been weaponized to shut down any kind of counseling that coheres with the historic Christian faith's view on sexual ethics.

“It is a deliberately and misleadingly provocative term coined by the LGBTQ activist community that does not describe any type of actual counseling assistance offered to men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction,” explained Anne Paulk, executive director of Restored Hope Network, in a statement sent to The Christian Post on Thursday.

Paul said Facebook's actions amounted to an example of viewpoint discrimination.

“Facebook is deciding they have the authority to silence the stories of those of us whose lives have changed,” she continued. “Their dismissive action — canceling our page as if it never existed, leaving a vague 'the link may be broken' message in its place — is shameful. Not even extending us the courtesy of a notification, a chance to offer our side of the very politicized story, is unconscionable.”

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Paulk added in a Thursday interview with The Christian Post that it is important for Christians to understand that their views about human sexuality and personhood are not welcome on the world's largest communication hub.

"It's like a community center that certain people aren't allowed in and they're being forced out," she said.

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"We have to be wise about how we respond here. Legally, it appears that [Facebook] is above the law but keeping a record of what's happening, getting that information to legislators that care and seeing it impact a bunch of different people, which is coming, is very important to fight for your rights and not just give them away."

She added that within culture, a systemic problem of hostility toward Christians pervades a number of spheres, with social media being just one. Paulk will be attempting to restore the ministry's Facebook page and developing other ways of maintaining communication.

"We existed before Facebook was ever around, we'll exist after Facebook is around because we belong to the Most High God," Paulk said.

Despite the censorship, which began with the removal of posts earlier this year, the ministry has no plans to cease its work advocating for those who struggle in this way and wish to live in accordance with their faith.

“The last time I looked, we still live in the United States. Freedom to choose what to do with one’s life — and seek help that one wants — is a dearly held value,” Paulk stressed.

“People looking for change should be free to find services and resources from counselors, schools, churches and ministries like ours to help them achieve their desired goals. We will remain here, fighting for their rights, despite Facebook’s best efforts to muzzle us and disenfranchise them.”

Paulk was also among the authors who once lived and identified as LGBT whose books were removed from Amazon last year. Her book, Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction, was said to be in violation of the online retailer's "content guidelines."

“It is appalling that Amazon has banned books detailing how one struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction can overcome those feelings and steward his or her sexuality in a biblical fashion, while thinking nothing of selling books that celebrate the kind of deviancy Jeffrey Epstein was accused of,” Paulk said at the time.

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