Finnish Christian sect reveals pedophilia cases

AP News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2011 12:21 PM
Finnish Christian sect reveals pedophilia cases

A Finnish Christian sect says its members are suspected of being involved in dozens of pedophilia cases since the 1980s.

The Conservative Laestadian Congregations group says there have been up to 100 suspected incidents, some of which were "very serious." Thirty cases have ended in court and several are being investigated by police.

Laestadian leaders on Thursday condemned the incidents saying that "even one case of child abuse is too many." They gave no details on the incidents.

The Lutheran revival movement, dating to the 19th century, uses the Christian Bible as a basis of its doctrine. It has 35,000 members, in a country where more than 80 percent of the 5.3 million population belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church.