The leader of Exodus International, a Christian ministry that worked to help people repress same-sex attraction, has apologized to the gay community for inflicting “years of undue suffering.”
“The church has waged the culture war, and it’s time to put the weapons down,” Alan Chambers told the Associated Press on Thursday, hours after announcing his decision at Exodus’ annual conference.
“While there has been so much good at Exodus, there has also been bad,” Chambers said at the conference. “We’ve hurt people.”
Based in Orlando, Fla., Exodus was founded 37 years ago and claimed 260 member ministries. It offered to help conflicted Christians rid themselves of unwanted homosexual inclinations through counseling and prayer, infuriating gay rights activists in the process.
Chambers said the board had decided to close Exodus and form a new ministry, which he referred to as reducefear.org. He told the AP that the new initiative would seek to promote dialogue among those who’ve been on opposite sides in the debate on gay rights.