Waiting for Kingdom Come

Since the first revival ceremonies in the middle of the 19th century, Laestadianism has been an important part of the religious live in the Cap of the North and the indigenous territory of Sápmi. Laestadiansim is built on the Lutheran tradition and places emphasis on personal faith and a frugal lifestyle. Here in Tromsø there are several Laestadian congregations. They are all centred on the word of God, but differ on matters of religious practice such as baptism and confession.

Revival movement

Nina Varumo grew up close to the tradition. As a documentary photographer and artist she has explored themes such as relationships, family, identity and belief in a variety of projects. Such concerns were her motivation when she began visiting a Laestadian community in the Swedish part of the Tornedalen region, on the border between Sweden and Finland. Varumo’s photographs show a vibrant revival movement where young and old come together to hear God’s word and proclaim their faith.

Heavenly eternity

Though the traditionally conservative lifestyle associated with Laestadianism stands in stark contrast to much of today’s secular culture, a search for a deeper meaning to live is something many can relate to. Waiting for Kingdom Come is a story about the community, and about the individual’s strife in a limited time on earth, where reward awaits in heavenly eternity.

The photographer

Portrait of the photographer
Photo: Jeanette Magnusson

The photographs in the exhibiton were taken in Haparanda, Kuttainen, Pajala, Sattajärvi and Gammelsted in Tornedalen, Sweden between 2007 and 2012.

More about photographer Nina Varumo.

The exhibition was curated by


Marthe Tolnes Fjellestad