British Christians have announced plans to oppose government attempts to ban "conversion therapy," which they believe would have a negative impact on their ministries, missions, and even prayer to God.

According to a report from WND, Simon Calvert, Deputy Director for Public Affairs at the Christian Institute, stated: "A ban on spiritual guidance and prayer would be tyrannical and unworkable. Do they expect police, prosecutors and courts to decide which kinds of prayer are criminal and which are not?"

"Most people would be horrified by the prospect of someone being convicted for praying 'the wrong kind of prayer.' We must not allow activists to exploit legitimate concerns as a cover for pursuing anti-religious agendas," he added.

The director also said that a legal case will automatically follow if the government "caved into demands to widen the ban to include the ordinary, everyday activities of churches," noted WND.

Writing for the faith group, lawyer Jason Davis noted in a well-documented opinion that progressives who express concern over "conversion therapy" will put everyday activities such as church preaching and religious counseling at risk.

The activist group states that the concept of "conversion counseling" is used to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals. For the most people, counseling may help control unwelcome same-sex desires.

Jason Coppel, QC, cautioned that prayer, evangelism, church attendance, baptism, and communion may all be construed as violations of a broad conversion-therapy statute, such as the one recently enacted in Victoria, Australia.

Churches who adhere to the Bible's teaching about gender and sexuality have been singled out lately in a British Parliament controversy regarding laws that will prohibit so-called "conversion therapy."

Per Christian Institute, British MP Alicia Kearns said that the said planned restriction wouldn't impair religious freedom.

Speaking to her peers, she said that "religious liberty is fundamental, but so too is people's liberty to live their lives free from identity-based violence and abuse."

Kearns also demanded that all prayer "inconsistent with LGBT theology" be prohibited.

Conversely, Counselors for individuals with unwelcome sexual desires oppose the word "conversion therapy," defining it as an ideological term used by LGBT critics to equate supportive spiritual treatment and talk therapy with unethical activities.

A Case of Christian Sovereignty Within A Secular Context

The Westminster Hall controversy centered around a motion to make it a crime to conduct conversion counseling in the United Kingdom or to send citizens overseas for it.

Several Members of Parliament referred to prayer and spiritual care as "conversion therapy," a term that was also used to portray "torture."

In an article for The House journal, Kearns recently criticized "prayer sessions" used to assist individuals with unwanted desire as an abhorrent activity equivalent to electroshocks and "corrective abuse"

"Conversion therapy," as described by Kearns, is any effort to prevent anyone from revealing their preferred gender identity or sexual preference.

She said that a prohibition would include "not only conversion therapy" for the purpose of changing one's sexual preference," but also "aggressive efforts to prohibit anyone from revealing their own identity."

Parents would risk criminal prosecution if they assisted their children in such treatment states the lawmakers.

According to Parliamentarian Elliot Colburn, conversion therapy may take the form of "pseudo-psychological treatments and aversion therapies to religious that are religiously based, such as purification or fasting."

MP Angela Eagle criticized "being told by faith leaders or your family that you are sinful."

"Being told to pray harder to change and to question your innermost feelings and thoughts ... none of that should be legal," she said.

However, Coppel stated in his study that such regulations will contradict current human rights laws in the United Kingdom, which uphold "church organizations' ability to preach" their views on sexual ethics and gender identification.

Additionally, he stated that requiring parents to support a child's wish to 'change sex' will jeopardize parents' rights to raise their children according to their values.

Those convictions, he wrote, "are not eccentric or peripheral matters of belief. They have a long history within Christian theology and sexual ethics."

He also argued that courts have "consistently regarded those convictions as covered by Article 9 of the ECHR" and "deserving of consideration."

The Big Picture

For years, LGBT groups have worked to curtail the work of Christians and Christian churches.

According to Josiah Hesse, a writer for the London Guardian newspaper, prayer had devolved into "conversion therapy" in 2018.

The outpouring of support was sparked by the broadcast of a video of Emily Thomes' testimony by Anchored North, an evangelical media outlet.

The community creates videos in the vein of BuzzFeed, and this one is named "Love is Love."

Though marketed similarly to pro-LGBT ad strategies, Thomes' argument is that by the influence of Jesus Christ, an individual may be set free from same-sex attraction.

"It's not gay to straight, it's lost to saved," she said.

The principle of conversion counseling presupposes that there is a treatable root mechanism for same-sex attraction. Although such therapy is prohibited for teenagers in most jurisdictions in the United States, those prohibitions on the First Amendment's freedom of expression and faith continue to be questioned.