Leaders at religious sect ruled with violence and control, prosecutor claims

6:49 min

Three senior members of a defunct Pentecostal church were indicted on Wednesday for assault, unlawful coercion and sexual exploitation of a person in a position of dependence.

The congregation in the small community of Knutby outside Uppsala is the same one where a pastor was convicted of instigating his family's babysitter to murder his wife in 2004.

The latest indictment, announced on Wednesday, concerns a three year period, almost a decade after the killing, where prosecutors claim the congregation was marked by a culture of punishment, where violence and religion were used as tools to control. Two of the charged deny the accusations.

Radio Sweden spoke with Sanja Nilsson, a researcher at Gothenburg University who visited Knutby a lot between 2014 and 2018. She's written about children and youth in the congregation and how their lives were impacted by the church.

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