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  • April 2011: Sexual abuse in religious communities

In Finland, the problem of the sexual abuse of children came up at the end of 2009. Most of the abuse cases had occurred in small religious communities, especially in Laestadian communities. In April 2011, the leadership of the movement held a press conference in which it apologized for their incapacity to handle correctly the child abuse cases revealed. The exposure of child abuse cases sparked a lively discussion on the confidentiality of confession. In negotiations between the state and the Evangelical Lutheran Church, it was agreed that the Church will examine how to combine the Child Protection Law and Church Law. A report, that was approved in the Bishops´ Conference in February 2011, emphasised that the duty to report does not conflict with confidentiality, but that the confidentiality of confession can be preserved while still furthering the protection of children. In the Church, the issue led to increasing training and information.

D 20 October 2023    ATommi Heino

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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