Christian group apologizes to gay community

The president of a leading Christian ministry dedicated to helping gays repress their sexual urges through prayer has apologized to the gay community and says the group is shutting down.

Alan Chambers, in a statement posted today on Exodus International's website, said the group wants to apologize to the gay community "for years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the church as a whole."

Chambers also made an apology in a speech to his ministry's annual conference, saying, "We've hurt people."

"While there has been so much good at Exodus, there has also been bad," he said. "We've fought the culture war, and we've lost. It's time for peace."

Exodus International, which is based in Orlando, Fla., was founded 37 years ago and claimed 260 member ministries around the U.S. and internationally. For decades, it offered to help conflicted Christians rid themselves of unwanted homosexual inclinations through counseling and prayer, infuriating gay-rights activists in the process.

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