Stop the Victims of Laestadian Ban of Birth Control – NOW

There have been these kinds of occasions were the enemy has tempted some with practicing birth control.  It’s not according to God’s word – it’s not according to the teachings of God’s kingdom. – Pastor Eric Jurmu, a Mother’s Day sermon 2012, Phoenix Laestadian Lutheran Church.



Laestadianism’s rejection of contraception is an important topic, literally a matter of life and death for some women. There is no excuse for an institution to discourage its members from considering all viewpoints on such a grave matter, especially when it claims that those members are accepting life-threatening pregnancies in accordance with their individual consciences.

Laestadian people need to open their eyes and hearts, before any more of women and babies bleed to death on the sacrificial altar of a faith that requires their fertility for its survival. It’s about time.

Speak Up for the Children

A Laestadian woman in Phoenix was arrested Thursday for the suffocation death of her ninth child, a six-day old baby. Let your heart break for all the victims in this tragedy. Let yourself feel righteous anger at the authorities in her life that allowed this to happen, despite all the warning signs. [Tapauksesta uutinen suomeksi tässä.- Toim.huom.]
But please, stay angry. Let your anger motivate action. Talk to your relatives. Write to the preachers. Leave a comment on the news article. Write to the court. Do something. 

Phoenix LLC_2.1

This tragedy was entirely preventable. Those of us with Laestadian backgrounds know why a mother with mental illness continues to have children, and why a father aware of his wife’s mental illness would not use birth control. If you don’t remember, listen to this sermon from Phoenix Laestadian Lutheran. It not only condemns birth control but advocates maternal self-sacrifice, even unto death. It is the very definition of immoral.From the 18-minute mark:

But it could be, as is often the case, that many children come, and then the dear mothers feel, that kind of trial, that kind of difficulty, that time in life where they become very tired. The business of life, of raising those little ones, feeding and clothing, these are part of the life of a believing family. There are questions that come, and doubts come as well, how can I raise these children when there is so little time in the day. These are also questions.

And even the ENEMY may raise doubts in our minds. He may even during those busy times of live, come with this kind of sermon, that you know, there are ways, that you can not have children, that there are ways you can control the number of children you have.

There have been these kinds of occasions were the ENEMY has tempted some with practicing birth control.

It is not according to GOD’s word, it is not according to the teachings of GOD’s kingdom.

Think of the eight children without their mom, whom the husband says was a good and loving mother. Think of the countless thousands of children neglected by overwhelmed parents. If you can’t speak up for the mothers out there, speak up for the children.

Laestadians control nature in all kinds of ways. They control nature every time they get a flu shot or use an umbrella or get a stent installed. Forbidding women the control of their own fertility is irrational, inconsistent, and immoral.

It has to stop.

Source: Free:  Speak Up for the Children. Learning to live free: Life as a Former Laestadian. 27.4.2013. – Read also the comments.


One dear sister once said, as she was struggling with her own life, she had a very difficult . . . in fact, a childbirth that was going to cause her to die. Prior to her pregnancy, the doctors had told them, husband and wife together, that if you have another child, the chances are very great that the mother will die. The husband and wife visited over this matter with the doctor and then amongst themselves personally. And they decided, amongst the two of them, that they would trust in God’s goodness.
— And what is God’s will? As it turned out, this wife became pregnant. And after the birth of that child, it became evident that there was nothing the doctors could do to save this mother’s live.
And in the final visit that the husband and wife had together, the husband asked his wife, ‘Are you bitter to God because of our decision?’ The wife said, ‘Not at all.’ She said, ‘I would much rather go to heaven with a clean conscience.’ How simply this husband and wife trusted in the goodness and the protection and the care of the Heavenly Father. – Preacher Eric Jurmu, a sermon 2012.
 – –
We doubt, and God knows our weakness. Dear brothers and sisters, may this text teach us to put a blind trust on God. What does it mean? Let us trust his congregation. Let us trust this congregation more than ourselves. Let us hear what the spirit teaches in the congregation. This congregation is God’s congregation. God takes care of that. God guides it and blesses it. And if I am a member of this congregation–no matter how small and weak, and tried, and fearful, and sinful I am–when this congregation is being raised from this world, I will be raised, too. Although I am a very small and weak member of it, I will be raised too. So, we have a father in heaven, but we have a mother upon this earth. We are the most fortunate people on this earth, that we can believe.
– Preacher Jouko Haapsaari, a sermon 2012.
*       *       *
CBS 5 News spoke with Jurmu at his home Sunday evening.  He did not want to talk on camera. But, he told CBS 5 News:
God created Nina with her mental illness. He gave her all the children she could bear. And if she couldn’t handle more kids, God would’ve closed her womb.

Jurmu asked CBS 5 News to email him a list of questions – which we did.
In an email, he replied, ”I was busy this evening with other prior commitments so I wasn’t able to respond to your questions. I think there are two distinct topics of discussion, one are the birth control questions, the other is the question of mothers’ health. I will consider these questions and get back to you with my response in the next few days. In the meantime, I think it’s most important to pray for the family as they struggle and mourn the loss of their child.”

CBS 5 will share in media the answers of Mr. Jurmu in the nearest future.

The Laestadian Lutheran Church is not affiliated with the Lutheran Church in the United States.

*         *         *

CBS 5 interview :

Anonymous  former Laestadian described the Laestadian church as a closed culture.

”When you grow up in that environment, and these are your friends, these are your family – you don’t really have any good friends outside of that environment,” he explained. ”That social ostracization – that’s a real intense pressure.”

He said in the video interview about the ban of birth control: ”Nobody ever said, ’You know what Nina, you should stop having kids, because you can’t handle it. And, that’s OK. You’re still heaven acceptable.'”

Instead, according to this sermon by lay pastor Eric Jurmu from Mother’s Day 2012 – around the 17-minute mark – trying to control the number of children you have is a sin.

”There have been these kinds of occasions were the enemy has tempted some with practicing birth control,” Jurmu preached during his sermon. ”It’s not according to God’s word – it’s not according to the teachings of God’s kingdom.”

The former Laestadian said it’s these kinds of words that shame and scare members into following the doctrine without question:

Somebody who uses birth control is basically giving up their faith, in a sense, and now they’re going to hell.

He said the Laestadian church, with roots dating back to 19th century Finland and small in size in the United States, is one you’re born into.
”It says ’go forth and multiply’ in the Bible,” he notes. ”I think that’s one of the most commonly-cited verses. But that’s a pretty creative interpretation of ’go forth and multiply.'”

*      *       *

Nina Koistinen and Little Maya are Victims of the Laestadian Cult’s Ban of Contraception 

Comment in Phoenix New Times Blog, by Summerday (Finland)

I’m from Finland and a member of the same church. I’m sorry my English is not correct but I definitely want to write something. I’m so sad!! I have no words enough to say what I feel. I was crying when I red this news, today! It hurt me! Because I had very challencing life situation when I had 5 children.. Then I decided to take child control.

I don’t believe (like many other lestadian women nowadays in Finland)  that you go to hell if you use childcontrol. I have thaught many times I will resign of this church but the reason I haven’t do it is this: If every woman who has survived will resing, other women don’t hear the better way of life.

I think it is my mission to love these women and tell for them they can use child control, take care of themselves and their children. And, they can listen themselves and their feelings, live, love and laugh. And trust on good God who is gracious!

I had very terrible fears of hell when I took a child control. It was awful. I can’t describe it in words. Every day I was scared if I will die and I will go to hell. But, I loved so much my husband, and he loved me, and we both loved so much our children, we got power to live free. And God was with us. God gave us a peace with this thing.

Nina Koistinen is a victim, like a little baby. Some people wrote here ”kill her”. I don’t hope you kill Nina. Please don’t do that!

You can’t understand what she had passed. You can’t understand the human suffering and fears what Nina had felt before her mental health deceived. I was very shocked what she did and she need a penalty, but I hope the punishment should be such that she would have the possibility to heal. She has lived trough hell. Like her children!

Men should be shame! I mean men who is talking there in church that a child control is a sin! Are you happy now? Do you think the will of God is realized? Nina did like you ask in the church because she was so afraid of hell! Is the way to heaven now open for Nina?

Please wake up!!! Men, do you hear! Please, I pray.

I think the hope is our young boys and girls. I’m happy to hear there in USA young LLC:s boys and girls don’t believe this child control. They are fighting and demonstrating against this and many other rules which are only for women! Like in Finland! This is my hope! Young people!

I have red The Bible and there is no words you can not use a child control. there is the ten commandments and if the men force women to give a birth for every baby, they are talking against the first commandment! If this would be the most important thing you can go to heaven, Jesus would have spoken about this. You can read in the Bible that you can live in selibacy with your husbamd if you will do it thinking of pray… If your marriage is very hard, you hurt your children and so on… Isn’t it the worth of pray? I mean this is very good reason to take a child comtrol. That you can love your family!!!

”Faith, hope, and love, but most important is love” they say in a bible! Please all tired moms, beleave i grace and good God who see in your heart! If I would see Nina, I will hug her very warmly even if she did this awful crime… The men in LLC have done same for Nina, when they have talked all lies without any understanding and love!


 *      *      *

Collected & Edited by Xsa.

Sources & Read More:

Anonymous: I left the Conservative Laestadian movement (in ten years)

Phil Benson: Mom pleads not guilty of smothering her 6-day-old baby. KCTV5 13.5.2013.

M. David: Tears, Prayers and Hope for a Tragedy. Free In Truth Blog, 1.5.2013.

EOP: Maternal Martyrdom. Learning To Live Free, 3.10.2012.

Jouko Haapsaari: Sermon preached at Minneapolis Laestadian Lutheran Church, June 17, 2012.

Mimosa Hedberg: Suurperheen äiti myöntää: Surmasi vastasyntyneen vauvansa. Iltalehti 29.4.2013.

Janet Heimlich: More than she could bear

Eric Jurmu: Sermon preached at Phoenix Laestadian Lutheran Church, May 13, 2012.

Matthew Hendley: Nina Koistinen Says She Killed Her 6-Day-Old Baby Because She ”Had Too Many Kids Already”. 26.4.2013.

Seppo Lohi:   Minä uskon Jumalaan, Isään (I Believe in God the Father). Oripää Summer Services: SRK 2009. Reproduced at Omat Polut blog.

Rebekka Naatus: Laestadian Women Resist Big Family Pressure and Criticize the Ban on Contraception

Phoenix Laestadian Lutheran Church

Phoenix police: Mom admits to smothering 6-day-old daughter

Soila Saronniemi: Laestadian Banning of Contraception Leads a Man to Plight

Suominen, Edwin A. 2012. An Examination of the Pearl. Self-published,

Rebecca Thomas: Ex-member: Church has ’blood on its hands’ in death of 6-day-old.  CBS 5 News 29.4.2013.


5 kommenttia

Kategoria(t): äitiys, ban of birth control, concept of sin, Conservative Laestadianism, eettisyys, fundamentalismi, identity, ihmisoikeudet, in English, kaksinaismoralismi, kuolema, laestadian, laestadianism, manipulointi, mielenterveys, naisen asema, normit, norms, painostaminen, perhe, puhujat, raskaudenpelko, sananjulistajat, sensuuri, sukupuolijärjestelmä, suru, suurperhe, syyllistäminen, vallankäyttö, vastuullisuus, väkivalta, yhteisö, yhteisöllisyys

5 responses to “Stop the Victims of Laestadian Ban of Birth Control – NOW

  1. Dårhusjonet

    Ehkäisyn synnillyys jota tämäkin puhuja Eric Jurmu Phoenixissa julistaa, on myös SRK:n oppi. Se vahingoittaa perheitä vakavasti. Varsinkin naisia ja lapsia. Niin Suomessa, Amerikassa kuin SRK:n lähetystyön kohteissa Afrikan köyhissä maissa.

    Ei pidä luulla että uskovaisilta puuttuisi tietoa. Puuttuu rohkeus ja luottamus itse ymmärtää Raamattua, jossa ei ole olemassakaan mitään ehkäisykieltoa.

    Lestadiolaisuudessa eletään kuin aikana ennen Lutheria. Raamattua ei lueta itse, sitä ei tunneta. Vain jotkut saavat sitä ymmärtää ja selittää muille.

    Tästä syystä ei tiedetä, että ehkäisyn synnillistäminen ei ole Raamatun mukaista. Siksi puhujien itse keksimät säännöt omaksutaan ja ne myös siirretään lapsille ja nuorille.

    Ehkäisyä ei käytetä, koska luotetaan puhujiin kuin pukki omiin sarviinsa. Luotetaan itseoppineisiin miehiin, joilla ei ole ensinkään mitään koulutusta sielunhoitoon. Häikäilemättömästi he vain häärivät ihmisten sieluja ”hoitamassa”.

    Jos uskovainen todella pysähtyisi tarkastelamaan puhujien puheita Raamatun valossa, hän saattaisi havahtua, miten hihasta reväistyjä ehkäisyn synnillistämisen perustelut ovat.

    ”Uskovaisina tahdomme ottaa vastaan ne taivaan taimet, lapset, jotka Jumala on hyväksi nähnyt antaa emmekä lähde Jumalan luomisjärjestystä muuttamaan.” (Päivämies nro 22, toukokuu 2008, maallikkopuhuja Raimo Kesäläinen)

    ”Jos lasten lukumäärä tahdotaan itse päättää, luottamus Luojaan on loppunut. Se pahoittaa Jumalan. Elämä alkaa köyhtyä ja tulla järkeileväksi ja kovaksi. Jumalan siunaus menetetään, ja uskon valo sammuu.” (Päivämies 21.10.2008, maallikkopuhuja Esko Lapinoja.)

    ”Ehkäisy on saastaisuuden ja murhan synti. Saastaisuutta on sukupuoliyhteys avioliitossa, mutta yritys ehkäistä raskaus. Lisäksi ehkäisy on murha, koska se estää elämän syntymisen…” (Päivämies.14.6.1962)

    ”Ei milloinkaan eikä missään muodossa ihmiselämän ehkäisy tule Jumalan lapsilla kysymykseenkään. Jumalan lapsina me tiedämme, että se on Pyhä asia Jumalan elämä, ja elämän mahdollisuudet on kätketyt juuri siemeneen. Siksi ei missään muodossa ehkäisyä ole hyväksytty. Vaikka niinkin kävisi että uskovainen äiti taikka lapsi kuolisi synnytyksessä, taikka odotusaikana, niin he pääsisivät taivaaseen.” (Päivämies 14.2.1979.)

    ”Mitkä tahansa keinot syntyvyyden säännöstelemiseksi on nähty aina synniksi Jumalan valtakunnassa.”(Päivämies, 12.5.2005, pääkirjoitus.)

    • mike

      So birth control would solve the mental illness? Why not focus on treating the mental illness and really taking care of the now and seriousness of mental disease. It may be better to dedicate your energy and research to encouraging society to destigmatize ”mental illness” and figuring a methodical and righteous way to cope with situations like these – a more holistic way, thinking of unintended consequences.

      We, so distant from this event, so out of that reality, could never imagine what a person with a mental illness can go through at times. Put yourself in her shoes and take this moment to do something productive with your time rather than using the all too common moment to politicize and sensationalize events for political ends. Let your thoughts and tongue speak constructively over divisive ways our society often resorts to.

      Birth control is not the issue here.

      Put that same person under the same amount of stress – be it ”too much work” or ”too much xyz” – and I would venture to guess that some serious event would happen. The underlying problem has to be dealt with.

      Birth control is a sensitive topic and one that has caused people to abandon their religious affiliation to God’s kingdom for pursuit in a belief that better fits their, a group or society’s agenda. It would be easy for me as a father to say that 1 child is enough and we could have a more ”easy” life with more free time, financial freedom, etc.

      But what about the other children that could come into this world? How many children do you have? Your parents? Your grandparents? What if my parents decided to cut me from existence? We should thank our parents that they did not have the free flowing mind and grudging anger that some reflect – they trusted God that He knows best.

      Trusting God is not the only thing that we must do in a temporal sense. We have our responsibility and reason to get us through practical things in life and must live for today and solve problems that arise. The forgiveness of sins makes eternal salvation possible, but doesn’t always erase habits. Especially when one is mentally ill. And these habits can lead to tragic events, bringing us back to the underlying issue of constructively taking the steps to solve mental illness.

      Let the issue return to mental illness and your efforts lean in that direction.

      • A comment from a professional

        Dear Mike,

        I am sorry, you are not able to see that in this case the issues of mental illness and birth control are closely related. I have worked with women with different kind of mental illness and surely know that childbirth and taking care of children can be serious burdens for them. Have you any ideas of how ”constructively taking steps to solve mental illness?” I have, and the main one is to stop continuous stress arising from pregnancies and caring for babies all the time.

        You are right, as a man you really are not in the position that you could judge if some woman could use birth control or not, it is this woman’s decision, not yours. A woman has a right to protect her life and the life of children.

  2. R. K.

    Kyseinen perhe kuuluu Phoenixin ”rauhanyhdistykseen” eli amerikkalaisittain kirkkoon, joka on LLC-lestadiolainen (LLC = Laestadian Lutheran Church).

    Lestadiolaisuutta monipuolisesti tutkiskellut prof. Jouko Talonen piti Oulussa taannoin esitelmän, jonka mukaan Amerikassa on nyt (vuoden 2012 tilanne) noin 26 000 lestadiolaista. Eri lestadiolaisryhmien jäsenmäärät ovat seuraavat.

    OALC (esikoiset) 10 000
    ALC (pikkuesikoiset, rauhansanalaisuus) 6 000
    FALC (töröläläiset) 4000
    LLC (vanhoilliset) 5000

    Lisäksi toimii 5 muuta pienempää ryhmää, joissa on 500 – 20 jäsentä, yhteensä niissä on noin 1260 jäsentä.

    SRK tunnustaa sisarjärjestökseen vain LLC:n. Järjestöjen välillä on puhujien vaihtoa ja muuta yhteistoimintaa, esimerkiksi Afrikassa käynnissä olevan lähetystyön ympärillä.

    Ehkäisyopetus on kummallakin sama. Tiettävästi ehhkäisykielto on voimassa myös muissa ryhmissä, eriasteisena tosin.

    LLC:n opista saa käsityksen Edwin A. Suomisen perusteellisesta tutkielmasta ”An Examination of the Pearl”.
    Sitä voi lukea tästä:

    Veikkaan että Suomisen kirja on tällä haavaa ainoa julkaisu, jossa vanhoillislestdiolaisuuden uskonoppi on kuvattu ”mustaa valkoisella” ja kattavasti.

  3. Doubting Thomas

    The fear of hell and damnation that is threatened to everyone who does not comply with the doctrine that we cannot use ANY method of preventing birth is enough to ensure that this woman is not the only one who is involved in this ”decision” to have all those babies. One must remember that even refusing/avoiding to have sex is seen as prevention and is thus a sin. Indoctrination is tyranny in the worst form, something that is very difficult to understand unless one has been there.


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