Pete Lupton, of the Czech Christian ministry NePornu: “The gospel offers grace to those hooked”.
Pornography is a growing problem in our society. Research in the last decade have shown the harmful consequences its consumption has on women, men and children.
European countries such as France and the UK have publicly expressed their commitment to fight against pornography, and force porn sites to use age verification systems, while the Council of Europe presented a resolution with several recommendations to regulate the distribution of such content.
Evangelical Focus talked to Pete Lupton, director of NePornu, a Christian ministry in the Czech Republic, at the 2023 European Leadership Forum conference. Watch the video version of the interview at the end of this article.
Question. Pete, what are you at NePornu doing?
Answer. Our main focus is to raise awareness of the dangers of pornography and also to offer practical help to those who are struggling: not only addicts, but also their partners, parents, church leaders, and other groups that are affected by porn.
Q. How long have you been developing this ministry?
A. It has been around since 2018. It is a growing ministry, so that at the beginning we have over 2,000 clients, and over 600 just in 2022.
Q. Are you more focused on the addicts or on Christian leaders who could do prevention work in their church contexts?
A. Both. When we are raising awareness, we try to educate, not only leaders within the church, but we are also in secular environments a lot. We do seminars and prevention programs at schools, and media interviews, so that people who might start to think that maybe they have a problem with pornography could do something about it.
We also work within churches, helping them to start a conversation, because it has been a taboo in church for a long time. At the same time, we educate leaders on how to talk about the topic, how to open it up, and especially how to approach this with grace, because this is very often lacking in the church.
Q. Do you think pornography is seen as a real problem in society?
A. I think many experts start to realise it is a problem. The World Health Organization has already said that it is a problem and you can be diagnosed. They do not call it addiction, they basically use the team behavioral disorder.
That opinion is on the rise, but still, when scientists or experts talk about it, they usually say that it might be a problem for certain people but in general pornography is not bad.
That is probably understandable from a secular point of view, but when we see the raising number of people watching and becoming hooked on porn, we consider that this is becoming a huge problem for a large portion of the population.
Q. Maybe the problem is that today the sex education of many people comes from pornography, which has an impact on their relationships.
A. Exactly, when porn becomes an addiction, it not only impacts your relationships, it impacts your health, how we view and approach things.
We live in a very over sexualised civilization right now. Porn is teaching us that it is OK to take others as objects of our lust if you just satisfy yourself watching that. You stop perceiving them as human beings with their own dignity.
Q. Does the gospel have a good answer to the pornography question?
A. Definitively, especially because it offers redemption and grace. People hooked on porn very often struggle with feelings of fear, of being discovered of what they doing in secret. They have a strong feeling of shame and being a bad person.
The message of grace is not only necessary for the people outside the church but also within the church.
Q. Do you work with similar ministries in Europe?
A. We know about some countries in the West raising awareness in this area, but our approach is that we combine awareness with practical help, so that our goal now is to expand specially to Eastern Europe, where the awareness is slow and people are not used to or able to pay for help. So we want to offer help for free there as well.
We are looking for potential partners in these countries that we can help, train, and mentor, and to offer them resources to start a ministry in their countries as well.