In an interview released Friday, Jerusalem's chief rabbi called homosexuality an “abomination.”

Rabbi Shlomo Amar lashed out at Israel's LGBT community in an interview with an Israeli newspaper.

“I call it a cult,” he said. “It's a cult of abominations, it is obvious. It's an abomination.”

“The Torah says it is punishable by death. It is in the first rank of severe offenses … They say 'leaning,' 'perversion' – this is nonsense. There is lust, and a person can overcome it if they want to, like all lusts. This is among the most forbidden lusts, the most severe,” Amar added.

Amar also criticized rabbis who reach out to the LGBT community: “There is no such thing, to show understanding or tolerance for this. A simple truth needs to be stated – there is a severe prohibition, and there is no allowance for it.”

LGBT rights activist Oded Fried said in filing a police complaint that Amar's comments were an incitement to bigotry.

According to the AP, Amar's comments were protested by dozens of activists who held rainbow pride flags outside Amar's office.

Israel is majority secular but nationalist and ultra-Orthodox leaders such as Amar are increasing in power.