Conversion therapy survivors sent horrifying messages offering to ‘help make them normal’

Matilda Davies
·2-min read

LGBT+ activists in Indonesia have reportedly been harassed by an Instagram account offering conversion therapy for “individuals who are confused about their sexual identity”.

The account, which which was set to private and since appears to have been deleted, was sending DMs to activists containing a link to a conversion therapy website.

The message read: “It’s not too late to return to God. God has not left you.

“Indonesia is a Muslim country, and we reject all sings. Let us help you drive Satan out from inside of you and you can become normal again.”

Several of the targeted activists are conversion therapy survivors, Asia One reports. Some endured the practise in the form of ‘ruqya’, a type of exorcism.

An LGBT+ rights organisation called Pelangi Nusantara has started a petition to have the website shut down.

In a statement to The Jakarta Post, the organisation said: “With enough support, we want the Ministry of Law and Human Rights to ban all forms of conversion therapy in Indonesia.”

Amar Alfikar, an Indonesian Muslim activist who received the message, said: “Religion is always used to justify persecution and violence toward women, queer and other minority groups.

“In reality, many queer people were already forced by their failies to undergo conversion therapy.”

Homosexuality is legal everywhere in Indonesia except in Aceh, a highly conservative Islamic province where same-sex intercourse has previously been punished by public whipping.

Trans people have also been reported to be subjected to exorcisms to “cure” them of their so-called “gender disease” in Indonesia.

There have been increasing campaigns across the world in the past year to outlaw conversion therapy in many countries.

Australian states have begun banning the practice, and many are urging the UK to follow suit. While Boris Johnson has called it “abhorrent”, he has also insisted a ban would not be enforced until further research had been conducted.