South Idaho couple arrested in child abuse case part of faith-healing church

Idaho State Journal

July 19, 2018

By Nicole Foy and Kyle Pfannenstiel

A Caldwell mother arrested last week told deputies her religious beliefs prompted her to pray for her husband rather than tell police about his alleged sexual abuse of their daughters.

Sarah Kester and her husband, Lester Kester Jr., are affiliated with the Followers of Christ Church. The church, which has a prominent following in Canyon County and in Oregon, faces criticism for refusing medical care for children and adults in favor of faith healing.

After her July 11 arrest, Sarah Kester told deputies from the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office that she didn’t tell police about her husband’s alleged abuse because it was against her belief system to involve agencies such as law enforcement, child protection services, or counseling services into personal or family matters, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

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