Indonesians Are Turning To Exorcisms to ‘Cure’ Members of the LGBTQ Community

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02/16/2020

After evening prayer at the mosque, 33-year-old Syifa’s* parents asked her to lie down on a prayer rug. As they recited verses from the Quran, Syifa tried her best to contain her laughter. After all, they were trying to exorcise her gayness out of her. “It was just so dumb to me, but I tried to appreciate what they were trying to do for me,” she told VICE. As a Muslim Syifa was no stranger to exorcisms, or efforts to expel demons and spirits that wreak havoc on wordly bodies. But Syifa was certain that she wasn’t possessed, she was just bisexual. The process took about half an hour, after which Syifa was still bisexual. Although she is now in a relationship with another woman, she feels that her parents’ attempts to exorcise her at least gave them some peace of mind.

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