Sweden: A Lutheran pastor has received a life sentence after he faked SMS messages from God to his mistress to persuade her to murder his wife. Helge Fossmo also used the same method to try and get the husband of a second mistress killed. The verdict noted that Fossmo
ruthlessly made use of Sara Svensson's love for him and her dependency on him as a religious leader. Svensson admitted the killing, but was found to be in need of treatment not punishment.
Fossmo's church was one that other Lutherans would have trouble recognising:
The trial painted a picture of a bizarre religious community, far removed from the liberal and secular society most Swedes would recognize. Life in the sect, an offshoot of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, was controlled by a woman known as "Christ's Bride" after she got engaged to Jesus in a ceremony.
The community's ministers also exercised a controlling influence in the lives of their flock. In Fossmo's case, that included using the latest technology to get his nanny to commit murder. Svensson testified she received anonymous text messages, which she believed to be from God, urging her to kill.
A technology company traced erased messages on her phone to Fossmo, who admitted sending them but said they were intended only to guide the nanny in her faith.
Svensson also said the pastor told her that killing his wife and neighbor was the only way she could please God.
Swedish pastor gets life for text murder messages - Yahoo! News, 30th July 2004.