My question is about the European Conservative Laestadian Church in particular, but also about the Laestadian Lutheran Church (LLC), the American branch of the Laestadians.

I believe Conservative Laestadrianism is a fairly recent revival movement within the Finnish (Evangelical) Lutheran Church. They are very strict and consider themselves to be the only "true" Christian faith.

Although Wikipedia has a short article about it [1], I can't find any meaningful information about their beliefs, only that the central teaching is the declaration of forgiveness of sins. Going through this rite will result in receiving the Holy Spirit.

I had never heard about this religious denomination till this morning, when I was assigned a question about them. The focus of the question is on their Christian values and beliefs. Any insights would be appreciated.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Laestadianism

EDIT: I have opened the question up to include the Laestadian Lutheran Church (LLC), the American branch of the Laestadians. Perhaps this will enable access to their theological beliefs.

3 Answers 3


I was raised in this faith and left at 21 years old. The key part of this faith is that they believe that they alone possess the Holy Spirit and in order for one to be saved, they must hear that their sins are forgiven by a member of this faith. They believe that they have the power to forgive sins and one must confess their sins to another believer and then hear the gospel.

When they say to preach the gospel they mean to use the blessing that was started by Juhani Raattamaa around 1880. The blessing is "believe all your sins forgiven in Jesus' name and blood."

The main scriptures they use to support their doctrine are John 20:21-23

Jesus said to them again 'peace be unto you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.' And when he had said this he breathed on them and said to them 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them, if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.' (ESV)

And Romans 10:14-15

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (KJV)

  • 1
    @agarza - Thanks for editing the format.
    – Lesley
    May 31 at 14:23

One week after posting this question, I finally found an official web site that explains what the European Conservative Laestadian Church believes. The article opens with this confession:

Our faith and instruction are based on the Bible and the Lutheran Confession. We conform to the key principle of the Reformation, which maintains that the Bible is the ultimate authority in matters of faith and life, and all other instruction should be subject to it. Like Martin Luther, we believe that man can be justified, or made acceptable to God, only by faith, by grace and by the merit of Christ.

Here is a brief overview of the main points:

FAITH is a gift of God based on redemption by Jesus Christ.

BAPTISM is a covenant of good conscience with God.

HOLY COMMUNION is commemorative of the last supper of Jesus and his disciples.

ENDEAVOUR is an essential part of our life in faith.

ASKING FORGIVENESS AND FORGIVING are important for remaining in faith.

CONFESSION means that a believer confesses his or her sins to a confessor.

CONGREGATION OF CHRIST is the community of believers on earth assembled together by the Holy Spirit.

GOD’S KINGDOM consists of two parts: the endeavouring congregation down on earth and the rejoicing congregation in heaven.

Source: https://www.srk.fi/en/how-we-believe/how-we-believe/

I have deliberately avoided any mention of the negative reports about this church, or their strict moral codes of conduct. Neither have I said anything about what they mean by ‘Endeavour’ My assignment asked only for a review of their beliefs, and not a critique. It’s up to others to drill down and form their own opinions.

Additional information can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Laestadianism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism#Distinguishing_doctrines_and_practices


My mother was born in this Conservative Laestadian Religion in Northern Finland. I have read about the very strict rules of dating among Conservative Laestadian Lutherans and they are not allowed to kiss or hug before the wedding. They can hold hands, nothing more, because syphilis and tbc were a big problem during the 18th century, until penicillin and vaccine were developed against them in the 19th century. We were not allowed to do things that most of our friends did. We had lots of hearings and slut shaming at home, we still do.

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    Jul 5 at 19:59

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