news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | October 25, 2014 | 5.00 pm IST

Life for the gay community in Liberia has become extremely difficult and many have come under attack after Christian leaders linked their sexuality to the spread of Ebola.

This has occurred after many Christian religious leaders including the Catholic Archbishop of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, declared that the spread of the deadly Ebola in Liberia is because of the homosexuality and that it was God’s punishment.

Those who travel to the United States for studies and employment are now finding it even more difficult. Racist comments are also being passed on them.

"Since church ministers declared Ebola was a plague sent by God to punish sodomy in Liberia, the violence toward gays has escalated. They're even asking for the death penalty. We're living in fear," LGBT activist Leroy Ponpon told the Reuters.

The Liberian Council of Churches had gone to the extent of issuing a statement which said that “God is angry with Liberia, and that Ebola is a plague," the Washington Post reported. “Liberians have to pray and seek God's forgiveness over the corruption and immoral acts (such as homosexualism, etc.) that continue to penetrate our society. As Christians, we must repent and seek God's forgiveness,” it further said.

Witnessing increase in crime against them, they are demanding protection from the government. "We want the government to come forward and say that this is a minority group and they deserve the same rights as anyone else and then people will stop attacking us," Ponpon said.

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