South African church accused of physically assaulting gay men and demanding money from them

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A South African church has been accused of beating gay men and then forcing them to pay a “damages” to the church because they ‘put a shame’ on it with being gay. Some members of the Shembe Nazareth church have stepped forward and claimed that they were severely beaten after the church leaders found out they were gay. One member, Dumisani Ngcobo, says that he is one of 50 men who were allegedly attacked within the church, forced to pay a fee and then ousted. Ngcobo claims that a preacher within their church beat him after he accidentally touched another man while searching for his phone. The church has denied the claims put forward by Ngcobo, with a spokesperson saying that it would be “unacceptable” for someone to be beaten in the church , even though samer-sex relationships are not supported there. However, they did admit that they charge members a fee if they are thought to have brought shame onto the church.

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