A place of worship, specifically opened for persons of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+ (LGBTQ+) community, has opened its doors in Guyana.
The LGBTQ+ community has not traditionally been welcomed into churches with open arms and has continued to experience discrimination at its highest that negatively impacts all aspects of their lives.
But the Hope of Christ Anglican Church has become the first church in Guyana to include LGBTQ+ persons in its congregation.
The all-inclusive church, which holds services at Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) on Duncan Street, Georgetown is aiming to provide a place of worship for people of all races, genders, and sexualities, along with getting the message of love, inclusiveness, and affirmation to the people.
Services are held every first and third Sunday of each month at 10:00h,
Founder and Pastor of the church, Marvin Livan, explained that he decided to launch the church owing to the neglect and rejection of the LGBTQ+ community from traditional churches based on their sexual orientation.
“We started the all-inclusive church for those like myself who have been kicked out of their local church based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and they don’t serve in the church or have any purpose in the church anymore. It is for those LGBTQ persons who are Christians that have been home, away from church and away from everything and away from the calling on their life,” Livan added.
Livan also added that as a result of rejections persons in the LGBTQ+ community faced, it has stifled their ministry, hence the church is all about reviving that ministry.
“Last week, in our service, we had somebody from the LGBTQ community that their talent was exposed within our circle and I tell you even me was amazed when I humble myself when someone is praying for me. The gift of that person was buried down there due to discrimination and rejection from the church that he used to attend and that gift was unveiled at the service,” Livan explained.