Singapore Christian group face fresh criticism over Instagram videos

Singapore Christian group face fresh criticism over Instagram videos

TrueLove.Is | Photo: Instagram/truelove.is.sg

A Christian group in Singapore is facing renewed criticism for their posts on social media.

TrueLove.Is claims on their Instagram account, as well as other social media pages, to offer services for people with ‘unwanted’ same-sex attractions.

Recent videos on their Instagram account featured so-called ‘sufferers’ of same-sex attraction.

The group has links to the 3:16 church, which is led by Pastor Ian Toh.

Critics have accused the group of disguising services which amount to a form of conversion therapy with messaging that sounds LGBTI friendly.

In response, TrueLove.Is says the criticism leveled at them were ‘online falsehoods’.

Christian group condemned by LGBTI rights supporters

In one of the videos on TrueLove.Is’ Instagram account, Pastor Koh speaks with ‘[four] Christians who used to struggle with same-sex attraction share about their journeys out of depression and suicidal thoughts, and into joy’.

In the videos, the group discusses the suicide rates among LGBTI communities in countries which are accepting of LGBTI rights.

‘Depression is still there, especially in the most open societies or countries towards homosexuality,’ one attendee says.

‘Of course, we have to accept everyone at the church, and accept everyone who wants to be restored,’ he adds.

The videos were widely condemned by LGBTI rights supporters in Singapore.

TrueLove.Is came under scrutiny last year for presenting their services in a way many considered to appropriate LGBTI symbols. Their avatars feature rainbow colors, and they use the tagline: ‘Don’t just come out, come home.’

‘There have been deliberate efforts to spread online falsehoods’

TrueLove.Is posted a rebuttal to public criticism on their Facebook page on Thursday (24 July).

‘There have been deliberate efforts to spread online falsehoods that TrueLove.Is practices so-called ‘conversion therapy’. Many have shared this post of a photoshopped image that is false,’ the post said.

The post was met with strongly derided by other Instagram users.

‘If God is truly great, wouldn’t he love everyone the same, regardless of race, gender, religion, orientation, etc?’ Instagram user loijunkai wrote.

‘Why the hell would you use the rainbow flag for your profile pic, you are lying to people. You have no right, you damn well know what you stand for.’ another user with the account name ursulagayatri posted.

Churches that host events in conjunction with the TrueLove.Is group have also been condemned by people who have attended the events, local media group Coconuts reports.

In May, a gay Christian who attended an event wrote an anonymous Medium post which said: ‘Truelove.is advocates a worldview in which gay people must either strive to be heterosexually married, celibate, or be judged by society.’

LGBTI rights in Singapore

The group’s account comes amid renewed discussion over LGBTI rights in Singapore.

A recent survey found that 80% of Singaporeans believe that LGBTI people are discriminated against.

However, a separate survey also found that a slight majority of Singaporeans would react negatively if members of their family came out as LGBTI.

Singapore continues to retain the colonial-era law Section 377A, which criminalizes homosexual sex between men.


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