A Derry pastor who held protests every day during the North West’s week-long Pride festival has said he felt duty bound to help “save” homosexuals and turn them back to God.
Pastor Mark Bradfield whose Bethel Baptist church is based at Campsie said while he does not believe that he can ‘cure’ gay men and women, it must be acknowledged that they live a “dangerous” lifestyle.
He also said that homosexuals are responsible for spreading the majority sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and AIDS.
Pastor Bradfield held a protest at the Diamond every day last week as Derry’s LGBT community held their celebrations across the city; which have been heralded as the most successful in Foyle Pride’s 22 year history.
“While I don’t wish to raise the ire of anyone, they are sinners and if it is uncomfortable for people to hear parts of the Gospel that they don’t want to, then so be it,” said Pastor Bradfield.
“It isn’t Russia or China and of course they can have a parade if they want, but it has to be acknowledged that they live a dangerous lifestyle and often have a shorter life span.
“That’s because of substance abuse and physical abuse which often occurs amongst themselves. Those are just the facts.
“Statistics from the British Centre for Disease Control show that HIV and AIDS are still more prevalent amongst the gay community.
“It’s estimated that homosexuals make up about two per cent of the population but the account for fifty per cent of all of the sexually transmitted infections out there.”
Pastor Bradfield also said that while he did believe that homosexuals were sinners; the term also applied to the rest of the population.
“I am a saved sinner,” said the Pastor.
“The Lord came down 2,000 years ago to save us all and I believe that you must trust in Jesus as your saviour.
“As with anyone else, to be saved, a homosexual must admit that they are sinners and trust in Christ the saviour.”
And while the Pastor denied that he believed in a so-called cure for being gay, there is a section on his church’s website solely devoted to exposing what are described as myths around homosexuality.
Information on the website states: “Reputable studies and decades of successful treatment show that homosexual behavior can be changed.
“Thousands of former homosexuals are testimony to the possibility of change. Homosexual activists claim that homosexuality is an unchangeable condition and insist that therapy does not work.”
The site also states that gay marriage “devalues” the institution and also “diminishes” the rights of any children they might have.