Child Welfare Researcher Johanna Hurtig from the University of Tampere says the first of the current cases date back to the 1980’s. The SRK claims also earlier cases are included.
Proceedings in some 30 cases are currently underway from the last decade. The SRK issued an internal report on the issue on Thursday.
The Chairman of the SRK, Olavi Voittonen, admitted the committee had dealt incorrectly with the issue over the years.
“Insufficient care has been given to individual victims,” Voittoinen said.
Secrecy has shrouded the cases and in some incidences the abuse of confessional confidentiality had been used to cover up matters.
Conservative Laestadian Congregations operate independently within Finland's dominant Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In the movement’s doctrinal statement, the SRK says its purpose is “to awaken and inspire Christian faith life and to promote Christian moral habits, national sobriety and stabilize a patriotic mind among our people.”