Church Leader Acquitted Over ‘Hate Speech’
Finnish parliament member and Protestant church leader Pavi Räsänen was recently acquitted of charges related to “hate speech” and “War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity” for sharing her Christian values.
Rasanen was charged after sharing Bible verses and other information related to Christian teachings on sexuality on her social media pages, the Washington Stand reported. The posts asked why other members of her Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland denomination would get involved in the nation’s LGBTQ Pride Month. She quoted Romans 1:24-27 and made other related comments on a radio show the same year.
Räsänen is a Finnish Member of Parliament in the Christian Democrats Party. She was charged alongside Lutheran Bish Juhana Pohjola. (LEARN MORE: Court Rules In FAVOR Of Free Speech Rights For Pro-Life Students)
Bible Verses Are Not Hate Speech
Police arrested Räsänen and forced her into 13 hours of interrogation over her posts, the outlet continued. They further prosecuted Bishop Pohjola over a booklet published on Christian views of marriage.
“It is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts,” a three-judge panel ruled in March in a Helsinki District Court. Shortly after, former U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback called the actions against Räsänen “a sign of incredible hostility to religion.” Then-Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen appealed the case following Brownback comments and charged Räsänen with “agitation against a minority” which exists under Finland’s war crime laws. (LEARN MORE: Watch And Be Inspired By Asbury Revival’s Inter-Denominational Phenomenon)
Räsänen was subsequently acquitted of all charges. “At the heart of the prosecutor’s examination of Räsänen was this: Would she recant her beliefs? The answer was no — she would not deny the teachings of her faith,” said Alliance Defending Freedom International Executive Director Paul Coleman after the verdict. The legal proceedings “bore all the resemblance of a ‘heresy’ trial of the Middle Ages; it was implied that Räsänen had ‘blasphemed’ against the dominant orthodoxies of the day.”
Finland Continues To Persecute Free Speech And Religion
Finnish prosecutors are already threatening to continue their purposeful persecution of Räsänen. The case sets a terrifying precedent for the treatment of Christians in Finland and could be seen as an attempt to destroy all religious and speech-related freedoms in the European state.
Protecting Our Rights
Do not let the same persecution happen here. Contact your lawmakers today (we’ll do all the work for you) and make sure they know your vote and support is dependent on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech.
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