A UN expert did not say Christians who don’t accept paedophiles will be ‘excluded from society’

15 August 2023
What was claimed

A UN expert said Christians who don’t “accept MAPs” (minor-attracted persons) will be “excluded from society”.

Our verdict

This is not true. The report it’s referring to said no such thing, and instead was about religious freedoms and the rights of LGBT people.

Multiple Facebook posts claim a United Nations (UN) chief said Christians who don’t accept paedophiles will be “excluded from society”. But this is not true. 

Several posts, which also appear on Instagram and Twitter, share a screenshot of an article headline saying: “UN Chief: Christians Who Don’t Accept MAPs Will Be Excluded From Society”. MAPs stands for minor-attracted persons—a controversial term we’ve written about before

The screenshot shows a photo of Victor Madrigal-Borloz who is a UN independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The claim appears to come from an article published by a blog called The People’s Voice—a US-based website linked to YourNewsWire that has been identified by other fact checkers as a frequent source of online misinformation.

The article cites a recent report authored by Mr Madrigal-Borloz as evidence of calls for the “decriminalisation of sex between adults and minors”. 

However, the report—which Mr Madrigal-Borloz presented to the UN’s 53rd Session of the Human Rights Council in June—does not include any such thing. 

The report looks at the relationship between religious freedoms and the rights of LGBT people. It concludes the two are “not incompatible” with recommendations to protect against violence and discrimination invoking religion or beliefs.  

There are no references to the acronym ‘MAPs’ or paedophiles in either the report or in Mr Madrigal-Borloz’s presentation.

Mr Madrigal-Borloz told fact checkers at Associated Press News that falsely associating paedophilia with LGBTQ+ people is a common tactic to demonise the community. 

He reportedly said: “The type of claim, which of course is false, that you see in that article and in similar campaigns, is part of a playbook that is actually designed to portray inclusion of LGBT people as dangerous to society and which of course is not supported by any kind of evidence, but by definition is based on prejudice and discrimination.”

Full Fact has previously checked other posts on social media that originate from The People’s Voice. Misinformation like this can be alarming and spread quickly online, causing people to form beliefs based on inaccurate information. 

Full Fact has contacted The People’s Voice and will update the article if we receive a response. 

Image courtesy of Alexandre Leal de Freitas

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