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Forced exorcisms touted as ‘cure’ for LGBT Indonesians

May 7, 2020

By the AFP

Andin is haunted by memories of being forced into an exorcism to “save” her from being transgender — a ritual that could become mandatory for Indonesia’s LGBT community if a controversial new law is passed.

For two decades she has endured harassment and abuse as her family desperately tried to “cure” her. Treatments ranged from being bombarded with Koranic verses while trapped in a locked room for days, to being doused with freezing water by an imam promising to purge the “gender disease”.

But it is the exorcism that breaks her heart.

She was taken against her will to a strange religious guru near her hometown of Medan in Sumatra. He showed her a burial shroud commonly used to cover the dead and prayed over her.

He then gave a stark choice: relinquish life as a woman, or go to hell.

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