Technology giant Google has received criticism for allowing a Christian app entitled Living Hope Ministries to remain on the company’s Play Store.
The app contains anti-LGBT+ rhetoric as well as advocating for the practice of conversion therapy.
Living Hope Ministries first appeared on the Play Store in 2014 and has been downloaded over 1,000 times since its launch. Though it also appeared on Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, these companies swiftly removed the harmful app from their stores. Google has yet to take action.
The Christian app hosts an array of podcasts and articles promoting an anti-LGBT+ message. It brands the community as “sexually broken” and encourages its users to enter into conversion therapy in order to “walk out of false identities”.
The website for Living Hope Ministries reads:
“We pray this app will be an encouragement to you as you seek a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”
A petition launched by LGBT+ organisation Truth Wins Out has called for an immediate removal of Living Hope Ministries from the Play Store, as well as for Google to distance itself from the dangerous rhetoric of the app. As of right now, the petition has already received over 38,000 signatures.
The petition’s description reiterates the urgency with which Living Hope Ministries should be removed:
“Every moment that this app remains at Google’s online store, vulnerable LGBT teenagers can download it, so time is of the essence.
“The surprising silence from Google is in stark contrast with the corporation’s stated policies of inclusion, respect and diversity. So why hasn’t the company taken action?
“Why is Google offering a platform for such a mean-spirited and dangerous product?”
The practice of gay conversion therapy has been completely disavowed by a number of medical organisations, including the NHS, the British Psychological Society and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The three medical bodies released a statement in 2014, which labelled the practice as “potentially harmful” and “unethical”.
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