Christian Pastors Denounce Conversion Therapy Ban: It's 'Totalitarian,' Destroys Religious Freedom

Michael W. Chapman | January 25, 2022 | 12:53pm EST
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(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

After Canada passed a law banning conversion therapy for people who may want to escape homosexuality, an estimated 4,000 Christian leaders in Canada and the U.S. spoke out on Jan. 16 against the ban, describing it as "totalitarian" and a clear threat to religious freedom.

Many Canadian pastors expressed concern about what they could now say in public about the Bible's admonitions against homosexual behavior, and U.S. pastors warned that similar draconian measures are coming to America.  Violating the new law in Canada could lead to a five-year prison sentence. 

U.S. Pastor John MacArthur.   (Screenshot)
U.S. Pastor John MacArthur. (Screenshot)

Pastor John MacArthur, head of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, sent a letter to pastors about the new law and warned of its consequences. "I am eager to support our Canadian brothers and to preach on biblical sexual morality on January 16, and I invite you as a faithful pastor to do the same," he wrote.

"Our united stand will put the Canadian and the U.S. governments on notice that they have attacked the Word of God," he added. "We are all well-aware of the evil power and destructive influence of the homosexual and transgender ideology. Our government is bent on not only normalizing this perversion, but also legalizing it, and furthermore criminalizing opposition to it."

"In 2012, California passed Senate Bill 1172 banning 'gay conversion' (alongside New York, New Jersey, and Nevada)," said Pastor MacArthur. "In doing this, the California government sought to prohibit any correction of an unbiblical view of sexual identity, because 'California has a compelling interest in protecting the…wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.'"

"This world system and its human governments will gladly send people to Hell, but our calling is to rescue people with the truth (2 Timothy 2:24–26)," he concluded. 

Speaking with, Pastor MacArthur said, "Ultimately, the dissenters, the ones who will not cave in, are going to be those who are faithful to the Bible. And that's what's already leading to laws made against doing what we are commanded to do in Scripture, which is to confront that sin. And that's just going to escalate."

Canadian Pastor James Coates.  (Screenshot)
Canadian Pastor James Coates. (Screenshot)

Canadian Pastor James Coates said, "I believe our government is capitalizing on a politically expedient segment of its constituency in an effort to further dismantle Western civilization as we know it. To do this, it must outlaw its very foundation, which is rooted in a Judeo-Christian worldview. [The new law] is another brick laid in this effort and is evidence that our government is under the judgment of God."

"[A]s governments seek totalitarian authority over every aspect of society, it’s inevitable that they will persecute any and all who refuse to declare allegiance to the state," added Coates. "As such, unless the tide of totalitarianism is stemmed, Christians can expect persecution to increase."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to the crowd as he, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and their children Xavier and Ella-Grace march in the Pride Parade in Toronto. (Getty Images)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to the crowd as he, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and their children Xavier and Ella-Grace march in the Pride Parade in Toronto. (Getty Images)

Pastor Tim Stephens, from Calgary, told, "We’ve seen that the new prevailing worldview is totalitarian, seeking to define marriage, sexuality, and control health choices. It is absolutely intolerant to opposing beliefs. All socialistic and communistic movements hate the authority and law of God that Christianity promotes."

"Much of the church in Canada believes that compliance and compromise will promote peace and freedom, but this attitude only feeds the beast and will increase persecution and eliminate freedom," he added.

Pastor Andrew Brunson, a special adviser to the Family Research Council in the U.S., said, "The commanding heights of our culture — most of our institutions — are dominated by people who are not serious God-followers, and therefore have little sympathy, understanding or tolerance for those who are."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"I think those who hold to the standards of Jesus will be thought of as hateful, and will face varying degrees of social and financial pressure," he told 

Commenting on the situation, Rev. Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook, "Pray for pastors in Canada as this legal oppression continues to grow, and pray that all of us as Christians will have the boldness to continue to proclaim the life-changing truth of the Word of God—the only hope for this world."

In Romans 1, St. Paul warns against a sinful humanity: "The wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.


"... Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

"... Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."


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