NORTH CAROLINA: Gay Man Claims Church Imprisoned Him For Four Months
imprisoned and abused for four months over his homosexuality.
Michael Lowry filed a complaint in February against Word of Faith Fellowship Church, a nondenominational Christian congregation in Spindale that has made national headlines with some of its practices. In a statement given to a sheriff’s department investigator last week, Lowry said he was kept in a church building from Aug. 1 to Nov. 19, 2011. He said he was knocked unconscious during his first day of confinement. Lowry’s former pastor, Jane Whaley, said Sunday that all of his allegations are “lies.” Whaley said Lowry was not held or beaten. She said the church only learned that he was gay when his family did – after watching a news report by an Asheville television station Thursday. Lowry said he first told his family and church leaders of his sexual orientation when he was 15 or 16. That set off years of harassment and abuse, he said, as church members tried to expel the demon that they believed caused his homosexuality.Word Of Faith has been in the national news for years over its practice of "blasting," a ritual in which members scream abuse at children in order to "rid them of their demons."