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'WE HAVE BEEN CURING GAYS OVER THE PHONE' Ulster pair's 'Christian fight'.

Byline: MIRROR REPORTER

A CHRISTIAN counselling group has claimed it can cure homosexuals by praying with them over the phone.

Mid-Ulster Christian Helpline has been run by married couple William and Freda Kerr for more than 20 years and they said they do not want to condemn people but to "reach out" to those who "long to be free".

The couple's literature has criticised homosexuality, slamming it as "an acquired practised lifestyle".

In turn the Kerrs' claims were slammed last night by gay rights campaigner John Doherty of the Rainbow Project.

He said: "There's no scientific evidence to prove that you can change anyone's sexual orientation through prayer or any other means.

"This group is presenting dangerous claims as facts. It's hard to take any ludicrous group like this seriously.

"I hope that anyone struggling with their sexual orientation accesses real support groups like the Rainbow Project." Mrs Kerr, from Maghera, Co Derry, added their group was not condemning gay people but insisted it was a "sin".

She said: "First and foremost we don't want to condemn anyone, we have strong biblical beliefs. None of us are perfect, we have all sinned and came short of the glory of God.

"We think homosexuality is not biblical and it is the same sin that destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorah. They need to change and they need to understand that."

The controversial comments echo those of shamed former DemocraticUnionist MP Iris Robinson who described homosexuality as an "abomination" and that she knew a psychiatrist that helped "cure" gay people.

Mrs Kerr added: "As Christians we must always take our stand and speak the truth regarding sin which in this case is homosexuality but on the other hand we can give reassurance that for those who want to change there is always help and hope in Jesus Christ and we believe that is in prayer."

Mrs Kerr and her husband have sent all 108 MLAs a letter criticising those who backed gay marriage.

A self-published book rants that the Good Friday Agreement is "an extremely vicious crime against almighty God".

And a CD testimony of a one-time IRA man, Seamus O'Connor from the Bellaghy Co Derry, detailing how he found God, was included.

In their letter to MLAs, the couple said: "Almost every week we hear of some Christians being taken to court, or their names splashed all over the newspapers simply because they have taken a stand for their Christian beliefs and principals."

So far the couple claim to have received positive replies from a number of prominent MLAs.

Describing how their counselling service has "changed" homosexuals lives, Mrs Kerr said: "We are currently dealing with homosexuals who want to change, from across the province, and Scotland, England, Wales. This has been ongoing for 21 years.

"And have we helped people? The way I answer that question is that we can't help anyone in these situations - but the Lord can - and yes that has happened.

"Jesus paid the price so we could be set free and cured of diseases and the bondages of life."

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SHAMED Ex-MP Iris Robinson
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 14, 2012
Words:520
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