Laestadian Abuse -- Story Continues

The leading national broadsheet Helsingin Sanomat ran a story on the 29th of September reporting that an influential member of the SRK has been in custody since July on child abuse charges. Helsinki Times ran a similar report in English. Allegations of abuse were picked up by the media in the spring, but shows little signs of quieting down after the summer.

According to Kaleva the head of SRK Olavi Voittonen dissociated the accused from all of the Central Committee's activities. He also made the argument that among the laestadians there are no more paedophiles than in the rest of the society, and the current furor against the movement has been raised by the media. Voittonen firmly denies hushing down the scandal and emphasises that child abuse is not an internal matter, but all cases should be reported to the police.

The odds are this piece of news will not be going away in the short term.