Finnish MP charged with “hate speech” for sharing Biblical views on marriage and sexuality

Finland Worthy Christian News

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Finnish lawmaker Päivi Räsänen faces imprisonment after being charged with three counts of “hate speech” because she publically shared her Biblical views on marriage and sexuality, ADF International reports. Räsänen was subject to lengthy interviews and a year of waiting before the Finnish Prosecutor General finally decided to bring charges against her.

A medical doctor, former Minister of the Interior and current Member of Parliament, Räsänen became the subject of a police investigation in June 2019, ADF reports. Active in her Finnish Lutheran church, she had questioned why the leadership of her congregation not only sponsored the ‘Pride 2019’ LGBT event but also included a passage of Scripture alongside their official written endorsement. Räsänen had also published her Biblical views in a 2004 pamphlet and had given voice to them in a 2018 television show.

Räsänen now faces two years imprisonment for each charge against her. In a statement about the charges, the lawmaker said: “I cannot accept that voicing my religious beliefs could mean imprisonment. I do not consider myself guilty of threatening, slandering or insulting anyone. My statements were all based on the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexuality.”

“I will defend my right to confess my faith, so that no one else would be deprived of their right to freedom of religion and speech. I hold on to the view that my expressions are legal and they should not be censored. I will not back down from my views. I will not be intimidated into hiding my faith. The more Christians keep silent on controversial themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech gets,” Räsänen added.

Räsänen has been a Member of the Finnish Parliament since 1995; she was chair of the Christian Democrat party from 2004-2015, and served as Minister of the Interior from 2011-2015.

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