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Revival group leader reveals gay adultery

The ousted leader of a high-profile fundamentalist Lutheran splinter group has revealed the reason for his dismissal. Markku Koivisto was fired two weeks ago by the group he founded, known as the Nokia Missio Church.

Markku Koivisto pitämässä puhetta Nokia Missio -seurakunnalle 11. syyskuuta. Image: Yle

The charismatic revival group was established in the town of that name near Tampere, later setting up parishes in at least half a dozen other towns.

On Sunday, Koivisto addressed the Nokia Missio congregation in Tampere for the first time since his ouster. He said he had been guilty of adultery with another man.

At the time of his dismissal, other church leaders said he was relieved of his duties for "violating sexual boundaries", but that no crime was involved. Koivisto has been on sick leave since then.

Koivisto was formerly the Evangelical Lutheran pastor of the town of Nokia. In 2007, the Tampere Diocese issued Koivisto 14 orders. Among these was that he had to "publicly disassociate himself from the American-based end-times prophets' movement, for instance God's Generals" and to halt re-baptism of individuals who had been baptised as children by the Lutheran Church.

In 2008 he resigned from the clergy and from the state-supported church, later that year setting up his own church.

The organisation does overseas mission work in Albania and India.