Cyprus Mail

LGBTI community does not want ‘war’ with the Church, seeks coexistence

Accept LGBTI Cyprus is holding a workshop next month to discuss their issues vis-à-vis the Church with whom they do not want a ‘war’, they said.

The workshop is titled ‘Church and LGBTI People: Opportunities for Mutual Understanding and Coexistence’.

“It is our belief that the war between the LGBTI community and the Church has no benefit and that there is a way of mutual acceptance and coexistence between the two sides,” Accept said.

The meeting aims to find ways to make the Church ready to accept and embrace the LGBTI community who want to have a Christian way of life without it having to change or “heal”.

Earlier this year, Morphou Bishop Neophytos statements on gay people went viral when he stated that homosexuality was transmitted to the unborn foetus when a woman has ‘unnatural’ anal sex and enjoys it during her pregnancy.

He received a lot of backlash for his statements however he did not stop there. He explained later that he just expressed the position of the church and the saints and added that gay people also have a distinct bad smell.

Despite the negative reaction, the bishop was not deemed to have used ‘hate speech’ by the AG’s office under the law which has a narrow definition connecting so-called hate speech with incitement to violence.

Accept has called for a dialogue about four-year-old law suggesting that unacceptable behaviour, as well as violence against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, is, in fact, a crime.

Theodoros Kyriakou, a well-known Theologian in the media will be the official speaker at the event. Another Theologian, Antonis Papageorgiou, will also address the participants during the meeting. An open discussion will follow with the public coordinated by Andrea Andrew Psychologist-Systemic Psychotherapist.

The meeting will be the first in a series of thematic workshops every two months, each including open discussions, focusing on different mental health and empowerment issues for LGBTI people.

The upcoming workshop will take place on November 3 at 6:30pm at the Youth Centre of ONEK and the language of discussion is Greek.

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