Gay rights activists fight back against IKEA’s support for Khong’s magic show
Lawrence Khong is the senior pastor at Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC), and is known for his strong views on homosexuality. He spoke out extensively about Pink Dot, and even engaged many in heated discussions on his official Facebook page.
Khong is also a magician, and chooses to use magic as a way to “share Christ with pre-believers” and to “reclaim the media for God’s kingdom”. His latest performance, VISION, “is an uplifting tale about love, family ties and family values.”
IKEA and Khong
VISION secured a partnership with IKEA family, and IKEA family members get special discounts if they purchase tickets to VISION, which are available through SISTIC.
However, IKEA is currently “reviewing its support” for the magic show in response to backlash by gay rights groups who are up in arms because of Khong’s strong stance against homosexuality.
Jean Chong, co-founder of gay rights group Sayoni, questioned if IKEA’s support for VISION was in line with IKEA’s commitment to diversity. IKEA is gay-friendly, and even ran an advertisement featuring a gay couple, which said in Italian, “We are open to all families.”
Some sort of conundrum present here? Khong himself admitted that he uses his magic shows as a way to evangelise.
Many netizens have also posted on IKEA Singapore’s official Facebook page. Some express support for Pastor Khong’s show, whereas others are angry at IKEA for supporting a “homophobic hate group”.
No way to win it, so just wing it
We think it’s quite impossible for IKEA to come up with a satisfactory review that pleases both camps. If they withdraw support for VISION, those who support Lawrence Khong (aka his church members which number around 12,000) will boycott IKEA. If IKEA continues to pledge support for VISION, then gay rights activists will most certainly do everything in their power to speak out against them.
Perhaps Khong should learn from Sun Ho and exit the entertainment industry as soon as he possibly can. Blurring the line between religion and entertainment isn’t always a good idea.
We await IKEA’s next move in this lose-lose situation.
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