It is amazing that a doctor and member of the parliament is now one of the most visible evangelists in Finland.
Dragging an individual through a grueling criminal trial simply for expressing their religious beliefs is the opposite of what characterizes a free society.
Judges to give a verdict by November 30th. Prosecutors asked a 120-day fine for Räsänen and argued her interpretation and post of Bible verses was “criminal”.
The Christian community as a whole needs to awaken to the intensity and pace at which secular intolerance is progressing.
In Finland, the Christian Democrats are key to the negotiations for a new government. Päivi Räsänen (“thankful and happy” about her re-election) tells Evangelical Focus about the current socio-political moment.
It is the third European country to pass such a law in less than two months.
Watch a 12-minute-long in-depth report made by the Finnish National Television (with English subtitles).
Watch this 12-minute-long in-depth report made by the Finnish National Television.
The ILC is an association of Lutheran churches with “an unconditional commitment to the Bible”. Juhana Pojhola is part of the open case against Finish MP Päivi Räsänen.
The Finnish Christian politician won her trial at the beginning of the year but the prosecutor appealed. The politician says such a long process discourages the exercise of freedom of expression.
The 26-page complaint of the prosecutor has been accepted. The Christian parliamentarian sees it as an opportunity: “Acquittals in higher courts have broader significance”.
In March, the Christian politician was acquitted of all charges of incitement against homosexuals. “I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion, as far as the European court of Human Rights”.
The Member of the Finnish Parliament reacts to her acquittal on 30 March 2022. “It is alarming that in a country that ranked third in the Rule of Law Index, I have been criminally charged for voicing my deeply held beliefs that are based on classical Christianity”.
The Christian politician, after the ruling is made public: “Why was there so much international interest? Because people understand that if questioning freedom of expression can happen in reputable Finland why not in any other country”.
Read and watch the speech that Päivi Räsänen (Member of the Finnish Parliament) gave on 19 February 2022 at the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. The Helsinki Court is expected to announce a sentence on 30 March.
Watch the speech of Finnish Christian politician Päivi Räsänen at the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, 19 February 2022. "We are especially called to stand firm in those parts of the Scriptures that contradict the spirit of the time".
Päivi Räsänen was the main speaker at the 2022 General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance: “Everyone should be free to express their deeply held beliefs about important issues without fear of censorship or criminal sanction”.
The second hearing focused more strongly on the interpretation of the law than the first hearing. Bible quotes and questions about faith were not heard this time.
The Finnish Member of Parliament charged with incitement to hatred against homosexuals faces the court again on 14 February. She defends herself against what she considers “false claims” of the prosecution.
A summary of the main statements by the prosecution and the defense of MP Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola. On the ground reporting from Helsinki, Finland.
The prosecutor demands that Päivi Räsänen's writings on homosexuality are removed. Her lawyer underlines the politician’s belief in the dignity of all people and refers to the European Court of Human Rights.
Theologian Timo Eskola says courts of law should “not dictate what churches are allowed to teach about sin”. Other Lutheran academics have been less supportive of the Finnish parliamentarian.
The Finnish parliamentarian to be tried on 24 January for expressing her biblical convictions about homosexuality hopes her case will encourage other Christians to openly speak about their faith.
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The trial against the Christian parliamentarian charged with “ethnic agitation” against homosexuals will start in January.