A North Carolina woman admitted in court in Friday that she led approximately 30 parishioners from her church to attack and beat a gay member of the church in an effort to “expel his demons,” Pink News is reporting.
Sarah Anderson is one of five members of the Word of Faith church in North Carolina who has been charged with assault on Matthew Fenner in 2013.
Speaking in court, Anderson said she believed Fenner was “unclean and sinful,” after the minister of the church, Brooke Covington, launched into a reported 2-hour long verbal assault on the man. The minister told Fenner that “God said there is something wrong in your life.”
In a testimony, Fenner said that Covington, who faces charges of kidnapping and assault, pointed out his sexual orientation during the attack which was intended to “expel his homosexual demons.” Fenner states that the church members blocked him from leaving the church, instead holding him against his will as he was berated, slapped and choked by fellow parishioners.
“You can’t imagine the emotional toll this has taken on my life,” the 23-year-old Fenner explained, adding that he feared for his life during the attack.
According to reports, members of the non-denominational church have previously been a accused of being abusive to members.