A church in Liverpool, England was found offering gay people the chance to "cure" homosexuality with a relentless prayer session that requires people to go three days without food and water. The church that is being referred to is the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry.
Journalist Josh Parry went to the church's branch in Breck Road, Anfield, posing as an ordinary guy questioning his own sexuality. He was invited to a private counseling session with the assistant pastor named Brother Michael. Wearing a hidden microphone, he recorded the minister's words.
During the counseling, Brother Michael said that being gay was biologically wrong and a "deceit of Satan." Parry was offered to undergo an intensive prayer therapy that would "allow him to marry and have children." The program entails three days of fasting as well as prayers of three hours at a time.
But a check at the church website shows that its deliverance program slated on September was not specifically aimed at "curing" gay people, and the list of reasons to attend didn't include homosexuality. The church of Nigerian origin maintains 50 branches across Britain.
Sought for a clarification, Dr. Desmon Dele Sanusi denied that participants of the deliverance program were expected to fast for three days, adding that Brother Michael wasn't acting under his guidance when he made the statements. He also said that Parry's initial inquiry was about erectile dysfunction and didn't concern his sexuality.
Dr. Louise Theodosiou, a consultant for the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned that depriving oneself of food and water for three days poses "huge" risks to the participant's health and brain function. Not eating and drinking for even just 24 hours can deteriorate a brain's function.
"I think it's extremely concerning to be told to fast for three days," Teodosiou said. "You can imagine a person would be extremely thirsty after that length of time so there may be a situation where you exacerbate underlying health conditions and then overload your fluids in your desperation to relieve your thirst," the doctor added.