I was around 10-11 years of age, a young naive boy living in christian community outside Sigtuna, Stockholm. We were all involved in Pingströrelsen, the Swedish Pentecostal Movement and living under their dogmas. From time to time we young ones was sent out to bible camps, or prayer meetings just over the night or for a weekend.
This time we were close to a small town outside Stockholm and it was the typical evening of prayers and drinking lemonade. During the event one youth leader, a well dressed man around 25-30 years old took notice of me, which always was fun in an environment where the only persons of value was the pastors and other high ranking church officials.
After a while he asked me if I wanted to go to his apartment. I remember I found that very odd, because we were supposed to be at the church and nowhere else. But he was an official youth leader there and I didn’t think much more of it. As we walked to his place, which was pretty near, he told me I was special, and interesting, and nice and everything else in-between. It was nice to be seen for once.
His apartment was very messy, I remember that clearly. It surprised me, because that wasn’t what I expected from his personality and ranking as a youth leader. I stopped in the hallway, and suddenly I felt nervous. He asked me to come inside in what was the only room there, but I hesitated.,
All over the floor there was papers and books, like a labyrinth where the floor below was the ground and the rest was walls impossible to climb. It felt like I was trapped, like he held me prisoner in some weird, abstract way. It all came to an end when I looked down and saw the face of a famous pastor known for his prosperity theology, which is like a pure capitalistic version of the Pentecostal movement (aka as far as possible from christianity, something even I as a child at the time knew better than many adults around me).
I didn’t like this pastor. I actually hated him, with his forced speech, his speaking in tongues, his vile attacks on everyone not like him - a white, swedish christian with a nice house and a nice car and a nice wife and nice children and lots of money on the bank, That was it. I told the youth leader I wanted to go back to me friends.
He thought about it for a second or two and then he walked me back to the church.
This might not seem much for you, but it might be one of the creepiest moments of my childhood. There was something deeply wrong with the situation and with him. If I stayed maybe it just would have ended with us praying in the sofa or talking or taking something to eat, but there’s this voice inside me that tells me it could have ended much worse than that.
I never saw him again, I have no idea who he was or is. I don’t even remember the congregation or town.
But I really fucking hope no kids have been hurt by him.
#pentecostal #pastor #youthleader #creep #writing #childhoodmemory #childhoodmemories #sweden #pingstkyrkan #pingströrelsen #atheism #atheist #ateism #hailsatan #barndomsminne #stockholm #barndomsminne #sverige #christianity #exkristen #exchristian #memories #kindertrauma #barndomstrauma #venngarn #sigtuna