New app, believr, goals to create a “dwelling for LGBTQ + Christians”
(RNS) – Adam Evers created the app he was longing for. As a gay Christian, he felt trapped between two worlds.
In LGBTQ spaces, his belief has often been an obstacle because so many in the fellowship of churches have been hurt who believe that same-sex relationships are against the Bible.
In Christian spaces, however, he was expelled because of many of these beliefs. In college, he said he was removed from membership in the Bethlehem Baptist Church by John Piper in Minneapolis because of his sexuality.
These experiences can cause LGBTQ Christians to feel “either too gay for Christian spaces or too Christian for gay or queer spaces,” Evers told the Religion News Service. “I really felt that in my body and who I am.”
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On Thursday (June 3rd) Evers launched believr, an app that, according to its website, aims to facilitate “belonging, connection and love” for LGBTQ Christians.
“We’re like home for LGBTQ + Christians,” he said.
Evers first got the idea for the app while attending a conference organized by Q Christian Fellowship, a ministry that serves LGBTQ Christians and allies. He was surprised to learn that there was no app to connect with all of the LGBTQ Christians around him and started working on faith with co-founder Brandon Flanery about two years ago.
It started as a dating app – “I thought, ‘I need an app to find a husband. I’m building an app to find a husband, ‘”Evers said – but it transformed into a wider community when its first supporters gathered for weekly meetings on Zoom over the past pandemic year.
Believr continues to offer what is known as “value-based matching”, in which users can select the five values that are most important to them from a research-based list of 72. The app then uses these values to match users with potential partners.
It also has community areas reminiscent of the AOL Instant Messenger that was popular in the late 1990s and 2000s. Users can connect on different topics like belief, place of residence or identity.
The app also offers a paid membership called Spectrum with additional features.
“Ultimately, believers are about connection, and whatever connection means to you – if that means friendship, that means romantic relationship, that means something else, great. But ultimately we want to connect people with one another, ”said Evers.
Believr also launched a podcast to put the spotlight on LGBTQ Christian leaders and has hosted worship evenings on Facebook.
Evers said he knows the app is needed. He noted a 2020 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law that found that nearly half of all LGBTQ adults in the United States identify as religious. More than 4.1 million of these adults say they belong to a Christian faith.
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“I believe the Christian LGBTQ + space is way bigger than people think or believe,” said Evers.
“It’s a lot bigger than me. There is a community and there is a need. “
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