Gay ‘conversion therapy’ survivor wants new TV doco to challenge church views


gay conversion therapy survivor chris csabs
Photo: SBS

Gay conversion therapy survivor Chris Csabs wants his appearance on upcoming SBS documentary Christians Like Us to spark conversation.

The new two-part “social experiment” sees ten Australian Christians with vastly different beliefs live under the same roof for a week to confront controversial topics ranging from clerical sexual abuse and abortion to conversion therapy and women in the priesthood.

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One of those participants is Sydney man Chris, who from 16 years of age underwent years of the dangerous therapy in his church that left him depressed and suicidal.

Chris came out to a church leader as a teenager who said he needed to be “cured” and Chris began meetings with a counsellor to change his “broken” sexuality that he said resembled Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

He went public with his story last year and started a petition last year calling for a nationwide ban that attracted tens of thousands of signatures.

On Christians Like Us, Chris finds himself at odds with Marty, a Christian who firmly believes that homosexuality is wrong and that it’s possible to force LGBTIQ people to change.

Chris said he hopes that Christians around the country will watch the show and are challenged to examine the experiences of LGBTIQ people in their faith communities.

“Needless to say, the series was difficult, and at times very confronting as well as rewarding in lots of ways,” he said.

“But I am really hoping it will spark conversations, particularly around how churches deal with LGBTIQ issues in communities that really need to understand the damage that they cause.”

Also taking part in the program is Reverend Tiffany, an Anglican priest at a progressive Brisbane church, who clashes with fellow Anglican Assumpta who opposes female priests and believes women should not be in a position of authority over men.

Christians Like Us follows in the footsteps of previous SBS series Muslims Like Us, as the ten participants discuss what makes a “good Christian” and the role of religion in 2019.

Christians Like Us airs over two Wednesdays, April 3 and 10, on SBS.
 

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