This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

November 11, 2009
Gays in Jamaica worship in underground church

Jamaica is often said to hold the world record for the most churches per square mile. There’s a public place of worship for almost everyone — unless you’re gay. If you are, you must worship in secret.

Correspondent Lisa Biagiotti, producer Micah Fink and director of photography Gabrielle Weiss report on the secret underground church that is welcoming gay men and women to practice their faith. Reverend Robert Griffin, an American priest, leads the secret church.  He believes religion is at the heart of Jamaica culture of homophobia, and the time has come to reinterpret the Bible for modern times.

  • Watch all the Worldfocus In the Shadows video signature series
  • Listen to Worldfocus Radio on LGBT politics and gay asylum
  • For more information on homophobia and HIV in Jamaica, visit The Glass Closet, a multimedia project produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

See more Worldfocus coverage on Homosexuality Around the World.




All sin in any form is a disease..some more revolting than others. Jesus always treated the disease while calling the person to an awareness of their contribution to their own healing.Gay’s must know come to the realization that the “lifestyle” is morally wrong,a spiritual disease. Only by true conviction of the need for repentance can remission of this sickness begin.I truly sympathize because most gays/people don’t believe they are spiritually sick. Jesus I ask that you help their unbelief and open their eyes.We all need help at one time or another.


There is no double standard with Christ. There’s no Gay-Christian. The Gay regime will fall, its only a matter of time till it does. The bible says that we christians shouldn’t conform to this world, and that the wheat and tears shall grow together till the day of harvest. Time is winding up…. REPENT!!


I do believe homosexuality is against god laws. man to woman,woman to man


i hate dose who do that but you see i believe that time will tell it has to stop they want to spoil Jamaican for us jah children but it will not work for them jah will chase them


why jamaica why now when jamaicans where killing each other for pnp and jlp no one help not the us or the uk so as a jamaican who love my culture NO TO GAY


Violent death among Gays in Jamaica is committed by Gays, relationship gone sour, cause of jealousy.Jamaicans are homophobic because of the fear of God wrath that may come upon the country.


To be a doctor you study accordingly and practice medical principles and protocols same with Christainity. To be a follower of Christ, study the word of God and follow the principles and obey his teaching.The word said our sin separate us from him it is not ok in God sight to call sin righteouness.It not right to call yourself a Gay Christain it like saying a christain who is separated from Christ. We are all responsible for our sin but woe to you who cause other to sin.


Gays dominate the world and there is not much cab be done alleviate the situation God allows it to go on and it is only HIM that can do anything about it. Let us pray


If this is moraly ok then im going to open a Church for ALL MURDERER’S & Politicians


Everywhere Americans go they try to convert everyone to their sinful ways. now they’re trying to bring uncleanness to the middle east as well but they won’t allow it, they rather kill and be killed for what they so long believed in. I’m not a racist, but you know who you are. Just have respect, sin in your house and this goes to heterosexuals as well, stop flaunting it and showing little children your behavior. Haiti is no more sinful than anyone else and see, whether you killing people with voodoo left and right or you having anal sex spreading your Aids to the population, God doesn’t sleep ,he will smite you. I fear God every minute, he’s above us all. Sin is a reproach to all men, but if you committing a sinful act and continues to do so then what’s the point of calling yourself a christian? Jesus wasn’t having anal sex. Christian means to be like Christ and at lest TRY to emulate him. I’m from Jamaica myself but I grew up in America. The gays here are more protected than black people were back in the 1960’s and that’s skin color you can’t change or disguise, completely of one’s control. I love everyone but drug dealers/users, gays, murderers, rapist, thieves, etc. I hate all what they stand for but they feel if something feels good, it must be right. The devil is a liar, do not believe the hype. True God loves you all but he’s vexed to see what sin is doing to his people. Common sense, if God made two men the where would the procreating come from. The world would stop there. If I had two moms or two dads where would my 11 siblings come from? Just look at the way the female anatomy is made up and the male’s, God put work into it for a reason. I will pray for you all. But I agree America has no right trying to change Jamaica. They already brought pornography to the entire world for even little children to engage in. Also I want to tell Jamaicans that a lot of them and UK folks are going down to Jamaica looking good but have Aids and other disease but offering poor people money for sex. They brought it down there to begin with and now this. All you Christians come together and pray and fast hard. We love God,let’s stand up for him or we’ll fall for anything. Anti-Christs are out there!


I so agree with Yvonne and Allison. Homosexuality in any form is a SIN and should be viewed as such. This is what Jamaicans and the TRUE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES are against: “the SIN of homosexuality.” God is, has always been displeased and will forever be displeased at SIN in any form! This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love and will not accept you but it comes with a price, REPENTANCE. You only have to simply accept that you’ve sinned and ask God to forgive you of your sins. Jesus also paid a price: HIS BLOOD! He gave His life for us, paying for our sins nearly 2000 years ago just so we could be free from the bondage of sin and live our lives more abundantly! Now this man, Robert Griffin had better stop leading these gays astray telling them they are worshiping GOD. God, the TRUE & LIVING GOD, does not entertain SIN, He couldn’t even look at JESUS (His only Begotten son) when He took upon him, the sins of the world on the cross that day, much more us mere man/woman. Robert Griffin has failed to read and understand the Bible and it’s principles and as such he continues to live a lie! Repent before it’s too late! Tell these gays the truth, GOD WILL NOT ACCEPT SIN! Rom 1:18 states “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”
You see, men & women have done this in the past, the scripture speaks about it in more than one books and also tells how God deals with this sin of homosexuality. In this same book of Romans chapter 1 it is declared too that men changed the truth of God into a lie which is what Robert Griffin is doing but like everything else this too has it’s consequences! Don’t forget “FOR EVERY ACTION, THERE IS A REACTION!” You Robert Griffin is one:
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Please read Romans 1 especially, verses 25-32, your eyes will be opened! Remember, God loves you but can & will only accept you, IF & ONLY IF you REPENT!


And I am to believe ,that out of a whole city of so many people, only five were not homosexuals?..all the other people that were destroyed were heterosexuals….please, you religious freaks need to start thinking logically.


The word of God is truth and it doesn’t change for anyone.He is the one that stipulates what is acceptable behaviour for man. So let a man not deceive himself, it is NOT God who submits to man.


It is not who you are but how you present yourself to others that concerns Jamaicans. Gays are not even looked at if they carry themselves normally just like heterosexuals. If heterosexuals start to parade and show themselves in a sexually explicit manner, trust me, we would have a serious problem with them too…….
Question: “What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?”

Answer: It is abundantly clear that homosexuality was the primary evil. The biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah is recorded in Genesis chapters 18-19. Genesis chapter 18 records the LORD and two angels coming to speak with Abraham. The LORD reiterated His promise to Abraham that he would have a son through Sarah. The LORD also informed Abraham that “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous.” Verses 22-33 record Abraham pleading with the LORD to have mercy on Sodom and Gomorrah because Abraham’s nephew, Lot, and his family lived in Sodom.

Genesis chapter 19 records the two angels, disguised as human men, visiting Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot met the angels in the city square and urged them to stay at his house. The angels agreed. The Bible then informs us, “Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom — both young and old — surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.'” The angels then proceed to blind all the men of Sodom and Gomorrah and urge Lot and his family to flee from the cities to escape the wrath that God was about to deliver. Lot and his family flee the city, and then “the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities — and also the vegetation in the land.”


For God so love the World that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God died for us ALL including Homosexuals – Let us continue to pray for them. They are lost.


Jesus died for all sinners and he came to save those sinners, not the holy. While we should welcome everyone to Jesus we should know that sin is sin however accepted it becomes. We know that homosexuality is a sin, so why are we looking at it as if it is not, just because more people are doing it? Everyone should read their Bible and be guided, it has all the truths and answers, and I hope that everyone will do the right thing. Jesus loves us all. Repent, be sorry for your sins and turn away from it.


All I have to say is that the coming of Christ is very near whether we believe it or not. This is one of the signs and wonders that the bible speak of. Homosexuality is a sin.


No one suggests that we should hate homosexuals, but rather hate what they do. As christians We do no in cite violence against gays, but rather pray that they be saved.

Agreeable christians sin as well, but we do not dwell in sin. We make an effort to strife for perfection. When gays remain gay and ‘claim’ to be christians, it is in total contradiction. They have decided to deliberately sin each and every second of the day. Hence, they dwell in sin – making them sinners. If they want to be christians an effort must be made to stop their sinful ways.

My own life is filled with flaws but each day i ask God to change my sinful ways, and i make an effort to change.

My prayer this moment is that all will find Jesus, and be transformed by His power. I pray that we will submit ourselves to God and allow Him to use us. I pray that all our sins will be forgiven (but we must want them to be forgiven) and live a life of purity.

finally, as we surrender ourselves to God and take a look in the mirror, and live according to God’s word.

Lest you are unclear about my stand: Homosexuality is wrong, and is against God’s word and thus sin.


as a jamaican .i have always been in awe at the homophobic society in jamaica.they always find some part of bible to preach against homosexuals but never quote where we are all Gods children .made in his likeness.there are some animals which are homosexuals too .maybe we should pen them all up.of all 20 billion people that have existed on this earth .have any been proved to be perfect?


People get over it. Gays and lesbians have been around forever. The fact that are forced to not be themselves just to please others is sad. The overall message of the bible is what needs to be adhered to. Not some random references to homosexuality held within the bible. Why does someone’s livestyle bother you so much. There are a lot of straight people doing some questionable things (anal sex) in the bedroom but because it is with the opposite sex it is deemed OK. Crazy! I’m not going to let few references in the bible make me become hateful towards gays. They are misguided and probably misinterpreted passages. The overall message of the bible is to love and respect people. We all know gay people, they are in our families, they are our friends, they are everywhere. Sometimes we know and most times we don’t. Not knowing who someone really is actually quite sad and that is the real sin not being homosexual.


Everyone is free to worship whether you are gay or straight but Jesus says that the Father seeks true worshipers who will worship in spirit and in truth. Christ comes not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance and repentance means to turn from sinful acts. homosexuality is a sinful act. Therefore one cannot continue in such sinful acts and be a true worshiper. One cannot be actively involved in a gay lifestyle and say he\she is a follower of Jesus.God does not compromise with sin,He forgives sin when we truly repent.


a weh do dem batty man deh


[…] Gays in Jamaica worship in underground church | Worldfocus […]


“Church” on a whole has missed the mark. They spend time preaching Prosperity, tithes and the things Jesus Christ did not focus on. It is sad but on that day many who profess Christ, will hear “depart from me.” “Gay Church” is not sheep in wolf clothing, they are sinners. “Church people” are wolves in sheep clothing. May you be gay or straight, until you have killed the flesh, then in VAIN YOU DO WORSHIP. A proud look is also an abomination to the Lord. A lot of christian celebrate Christmas, Easter etc, do you even know there origins? Paganism!!! R we any better? Let every man examine his own self. Church, it’s time you focus on the message of Jesus Christ, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.


Its sad that in the 21 century people have to worship there God in secret. The hate that goes on is unnecessary. God is love, regardless of Gay, straight or whatever. Another thing that makes no sense to me is how is a gay person forcing it in someones face, heterosexuals do it ALL THE TIME!


This is definately against the will of GOD he said if one of his word pass heaven and earth pass away.This is unbelievable/unacceptable in the sight of GOD the world is in a termoil this is truly SODOM i know that something is about to break loose in this world /I pray that their eyes will be open before its too late to meet their GOD.


I am a jamaican living in the US and there is no church that allow homosexuals to worship in the manner that these poeple are worshipping in. You can go to any church in american and worship but don’t sit hugging each other or showing affection. Thats crazy. there is no other religion that encourage this type of lifestyle. check with the Muslins, Jews etc. u want to do your scrap keep it away from other people.


If we remember sodom,we will realize that people that profess” to be God fearing and yet condone with same sex “ANYTHING” are those people that God warned us about in regards to “wolf in sheep’s clothing.God created man in his own image,he also created Eve to be a companion for adam,1+1 = 2,,not 2 1/2…PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS FOR GOD FEARING PEOPLE ONLY..THANKS


Maybe things will begin to change for the better for all Jamaicans when we become passionate for the things of God and try to become more Christlike in the way we treat others, especially those who don’t hold the same views as ours. People should stop trying to make Jamaica out to to be this “great Christian, moral society” because some people choose to use some of the bible’s teachings to persecute one group, while they seem to have little to say about Jamaica being the murder capital of the world. Where is their passion for rooting out the criminal element in their own families and communities? It would be nice if all Jamaicans could truly say they feel safe in their homes and communities, and are not worried about crime and criminals disturbing their peace.


If this is right then mi can go open a church fi all the strippers and prostitutes and let them continue their lifestyles


Who are these people sinning against, me, you or God? We know that the scriptures are clear on this topic…that it is an abomination ….leave them to their reprobate minds and so on my opinion is to leave these people alone..if they do not repent then they will have to answer to God for the way they lived their lives AMEN.


Jamaica has to start telling its own story, this is a spiritual war that goes back to the beginning of time, as the bible states there is nothing new under the sun.

Its a war that is fast approaching the final battle and the spiritually dead won’t see it for what it is.

Most people don’t understand why Jamaica is coming under such withering attack from the so called gays. However if we look closely at the situation we will notice that Jamaica is the last country standing strong against total world domination of the spiritual realm by these entities and we are able to do so by virtue of our music that carries the word of God.

what else can heal the people besides reggaemusic and where else do you expect a prophet to rise from? given the fact that Jamaica is the country who gave the world Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley.

dig deeper my flocks and don’t let them fool or distract unnu head. Pay attention to the youths
ras shatta blogs at blogs


Very interesting piece, what I find the most interesting is that gays want acceptance from God who clearly in both old and new testamont condemns homosexuality, however I do feel that they are accountable to God not man and for people to incite violence against other people for any reason at all is just as bad a sin or even worse as the sin of homosexuality. the ones that are most accountable are the ones who put on the robes identifying themselves as men of God, and are telling people that this is acceptable to God and they themselves are gay. I can only imagine God’s disgust.


Well we know that the world is becoming like the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. They didn’t even honor the angel, but wanted to sleep with him. The gay people throw their sin up to God and want him to accept their stench. It absurd! God loves them, but they are mistaken if they think they are creating sweet incense in their worship.


This is sad…. I think it’s the ‘gays’ who don’t wish to socialize. They don’t have to make themselves known but to worship is different. Jamaicans will accept gays however I don’t think they would appreciate it thrown in their faces, like what they are doing now around the world.


It is very frustrating to me as a Jamaican to watch videos such as this. I live in Jamaica and we are not running down gay people and killing them as is often implied in articles and video such as this. The people shooting these videos need to go around and see the gay men dressed in their female clothes and makeup and walking around freely. There are gays in churches here and it is know that they are gay and they are not turned away or killed. I dont know of any Church or Pastor in Jamaica who preach that Gays should be killed…the bible says it a sin and thats what we preach. I have gay friends and i am never told that they cant go to church!!! This article is totally bias and its funny how its an American who is on this video saying we preach gays are to be killed, how much does he spend here. Dont think he knows enough to make the statements he is making!!!! i live here everyday of every month of every year!!!


The truth is that gay people are free to worship in Jamiaca just as they are elsewhere. The problem is that they want to remain in ther chosen sinful state and force the ‘church’ to conform and accept their sinful lifestyle. Being gay does not prevent God from accepting you anymore than being a fornicator, or a murderer or a thief or even a liar. They are ALL sin. Not in varying degrees, but just plain sin. And just as the Lord expects us to choose HIS way and leave our sinful ways behind, so He expects gay folks to realize the truth of 1 Cor. 6:9 and make a decision to follow Him, in spirit and in truth. The fact that the church in Jamaica is holding sinners accountable should be respected, not reviled. Honoring God does NOT mean gay people should be abused in any way, but neither does it give them carte blanche to continue in their sinful ways and expect everybody else to accept their behavior.


Rev Robert Griffin have to know this Jamacians have a strong opinion about gays we will not take it as far as Buhu Banton. But we believe in the King James version of the Bible


In my line of work, I sometimes deal professionally with gays, a/k/a domestic partners. Just got back this Friday from one such set. If I may be permitted to generalize, which I rarely do, I find them kind, respectable and decent in dealing with me. May God judge them for their act, and let us not do that.


Gays in Jamaica are quite often killed by other gays. This is a fact that is not reported when their killings are sensationalized. Jamaica is no more homophobic than the mighty USA or even the UK. Have ppl checked out sections of the US mid-west where conservativism rules the day? Or the huge Bible belt? I am sure that far less than half of the 300 mil ppl in the US are pro-homosexual. Ppl all over the world abhor homosexuality and while pockets of violence against homosexuals in these large countries are not reported, similar incidents in Jamaica make int’l news. We in Jamaica have been picked on because of the music of a few musicians. Anti-homosexual Christianity is also promoted in the US, but we are small and easily accessed. The general view seems to be that homosexuals are being abused here en masse – this is definitely not so.


It is the act of homosexuality that is against God’s will, because any sexual act that is outside of the sacred covenant of marriage is fornication. Yes the Bible says “let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” but let us also remember that God has required us to worship in “Spirit and in truth”, as His holy standard. Therefore, it is a mockery to be actively homosexual and disregard that which the Lord has spoken.


to marginalize and dehumanize same-gender loving persons is promote the attitudes of violence in the culture. and human rights are a global issue…it is not a country’s right to torment people within its borders.


Bigots like to parade their so-called faith before others and the bible thumping preachers aide and abet them. As in the time of Jesus, the homophobes masquerading as true believers, like to pray on the street corners so that they may be seen by others and this is mistakenly thought to be Christian! UGH!


[…] Gays in Jamaica worship in underground church | Worldfocus (tags: gay homophobia jamaica) […]


So sad, we are living in the last and evil day…not days..DAY. “Preachers” are teaching that it’s okay to be gay, leading people into destruction.


This is sad that people prefer to remain in sin, justify the sin, by saying it’s God fault why they are like that, and proceed to interpret the Word of God in their own way. Anyone that changes the word of God to suit them, must answer to God. I pray they’ll find it within themselves to repent of this abomination! I don’t condone killing them, it’s a sin that they are committing, but they should stop calling it “normal”, there is nothing normal about this. I compare them to people who commit bestiality — there’s nothing “normal” about that either.


[…] gay or lesbian, and Christian, your only choice for worship is likely to be underground. Worldfocus sent correspondent Lisa Biagotti to Jamaica to meet Robert Griffin, an American priest who leads a […]


Whether they hide in secret or in public, how can they be worshiping? Who are they worshiping? If they are not turning from their sinful ways nor have the desire to change then their worship is in vain. I am sorry but God does not indulge in sin. A lot of times people use the scriptures to go with their beliefs, but that is wrong. As a Christian I do not hate nor dislike a gay person I HATE the sin that they are partaking in and if they don’t change they are HELL BOUND.


Kim, so all gays need to leave Jamaica now or face the kind of hate (from being called filthy to battyman violence), huh!?! Gay rights are CIVIL rights, everywhere!


In response to Yvonne’s comment, I think it is safe to say that the simple fact that churches preach anti-gay rhetoric will keep gays away from the church. I don’t think members of the gay community feel welcome in this environment, even if they are not preaching to kill they are still preaching sin. I do agree that it is an issue in Jamaica and that Jamaicans have to deal with it, but it’s fair for the rest of the world to know about it.


Leave us Jamaicans alone. This is our business to work out. If we choose not to accept this then it is not anyone’s concern.


America, Britain, and others must stop trying to force Jamaica into accepting the slackness that they do. Jamaicans can live around gays we just don’t want it forced down our throats. Our country let us work out our shit by ourselves.


People may believe what they want. However, I do not recall anything in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior that says we may kill or injure sinners. He embraced them even before they repented. He loved them and it was His love that coverts the sinner. We are ALL sinners. If anyone out there is perfect, please take another look at Scriptures. If you believe you are perfect, you are a liar. Not my words, they are the words of St. Paul.


I have just watched your Report on cable of gays in Jamaica and the portrayal by the Rev.Robert Griffin that gays are not free to worship and can only do so in secret. This is totally unfair and bias. Whilst I agree that Jamaica has a culture of homophobia, churches do not preach that gays must be killed, they do preach that it is a sin.

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2021 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television