Church of Sweden pastor accused of rape

A 60-year-old Church of Sweden pastor faces a remand hearing this Friday for the alleged sexual abuse of two children during an overseas trip with a group of candidates for confirmation.

The pastor is suspected of three sex offences carried out over the course of the confirmation group’s trip to a major European city in October. Friday’s remand hearing at Varberg district court will determine whether the public prosecutor’s case is sufficiently strong to warrant detaining the cleric in custody for one charge of child rape and two of child sexual abuse.

As of Thursday, the pastor remained active at his post in Halland in western Sweden. He has however been removed from all assignments involving children since the suspicions against him came to light this week, according to Lasse Bengtsson, a spokesman for the Diocese of Gothenburg.

Public prosecutor Klas Lundgren confirmed that there were two alleged victims but was reluctant to divulge any further information pertaining to the case.

Lundgren added that the priest was likely to offend again if the court chose to release him. The prosecutor stated that he also wished to see the pastor held in custody as a means of preventing him from hindering the investigation or destroying evidence relating to the case.


Spotify to be muted in Swedish churches

Music played via streaming service Spotify will be banned in Sweden’s churches from April 1st.

Spotify to be muted in Swedish churches
Spotify's head office in Stockholm. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

From the beginning of next month, anyone who plans to play music at a wedding, baptism or funeral will have to find an alternative source to the streaming option, radio station P4 Kristiansand reports.

The Swedish audio platform’s decision to end its Spotify Business service, which the Church of Sweden currently uses to play pre-recorded music, means other formats are likely to make a comeback.

“Subscriptions for the (Spotify) service will be cancelled and will no longer work. Private Spotify accounts, like you or I and many others have, are not, and never have been, permitted for use for playing music or songs in public places,” Lund Diocese lawyer Anders Eriksson told the radio station.

Those who want to play pre-recorded music in Swedish churches will, in future, have to bring their own CD or legally downloaded music, according to the report.

READ ALSO: The story of Spotify: Sweden's controversial king of music streaming