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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018

An evangelical Christian ministry which says gay people have "special needs" is in Dublin

Victory Outreach International are due to perform ‘Straight From The Hood’ in the Liberty Hall Theatre.

PastedImage-2070 Victory Outreach rally in Dublin yesterday. Source: Instagram/VictoryOutreachInt

AN INTERNATIONAL EVANGELICAL Christian ministry which believes that homosexuals are “immoral” and have “special needs” is due to perform a show in Dublin this evening.

Victory Outreach International are putting on the show, “Straight From The Hood”, tonight in the Liberty Hall Theatre as part of their ‘European Invasion’.

Victory Outreach, which describes itself as a ‘sustainable transformational ministry’, was founded in 1967 and claims to have more than 700 centres and churches worldwide.

The group says that its aim is in “discipling the hurting people of the world, with the message of hope and plan of Jesus Christ”.

PastedImage-50642 Source: Victory Outreach

In a pamphlet about it’s beliefs, Victory Outreach outlines its views on homosexuality and “lesbianism”, describing them as “immoral”.

“Victory Outreach does not endorse homosexuality or lesbianism; we consider both to be immoral and contrary to biblical teaching,” the pamphlet reads.

It continues:

Some have argued that homosexuality is a natural sexual preference made by perfectly normal and healthy people. Yet important studies have shown that those who practice homosexuality are more unhappy and prone to commit suicide than heterosexuals.

The group’s guidance on homosexuality concludes that that gay people should be treated with “compassion” because they have “special needs”.

“We desire to help those in the gay community who have special needs and are searching for spiritual answers. We must remember to hate sin but love the sinner.”

Source: Victory Outreach International/YouTube

Victory Outreach

Many of the group’s centres and churches are based in inner-city communities in the United States and abroad. The church has a sub-section called “God’s Anointed Now Generation” (GANG).

It is this group that is scheduled to perform ”Straight From The Hood”, a musical show about drugs and inner-city life, in Dublin this evening.

The performance is part of GANG’s ‘European Invasion’ which sees them put on shows in Dublin, Manchester and Amsterdam over the first two weeks of August.

PastedImage-40218 Details of the European Invasion from Victory Outreach's website. Source: Victory Outreach

Young men and women aged between 18 and 35 are allowed take part in the ‘European Invasion’ but they are required to pay $1,400, not including flights, to do so.

They also must secure a “senior Pastor’s approval”.

Much of Victory Outreach’s literature is made with an inner-city design and flyers such as the one below were passed out as the group held a rally on Dublin’s O’Connell Street yesterday.

1438681488885 (1) Flyers handed out on O'Connell Street yesterday.

Victory Outreach’s Dublin centre was embroiled in controversy two years ago when an RTÉ investigation claimed that Dublin drug addicts in their recovery unit were being asked to raise funds by selling raffle tickets, “some at 18 hours at a time”.

Liberty Hall Theatre is operated by the Siptu trade union and the manager of the theatre told that the booking for tonight’s show was made by Victory Outreach in Wicklow.

PastedImage-86905 Victory Outreach City Centre Dublin haring an Instagram picture from yesterday's rally. Source: Instagram/VOCCDublin

Phil Sterling says that his understanding of tonight’s show is that it is a “musical drama about drugs”.

He says that he does not know more than that about the content of the show and was not aware of Victory Outreach’s views on homosexuality or other issues when the booking was made.

Siptu was active in campaigning for a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum and a statement from the trade unions says that the booking was made on “short notice”.

“SIPTU does not support or endorse the aims or activities of Victory Outreach,” the Siptu statement says.

The booking of Liberty Hall by the organisation was made at relatively short notice and in normal circumstances it would not have been accepted given the controversy surrounding the organisation.

Read: American woman is asked to tone down her “relentlessly gay” garden, gets spectacular revenge >

Read: Where in the world is it hardest to be gay? (And what can Ireland do to help?) >

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Rónán Duffy

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