Finland: Christian lawmaker faces continued prosecution for “hate speech” statements on homosexuality

Finland Worthy Christian News

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – An evangelical lawmaker in Finland who was acquitted by a lower court on “hate speech” charges for sharing her views on homosexuality now faces an appeals court hearing after the state prosecutor insisted on continuing the case, the Washington Times reports.

Former interior minister Päivi Räsänen faces an appeal by state prosecutor Raija Toiviainen against the acquittal she secured in the Helsinki District Court on March 30.

Räsänen was charged with “agitating against a minority” for sharing her conservative Christian views on marriage and sexuality on Twitter, talk radio, and in a 2004 booklet, the Times said. The charge is considered a ‘crime against humanity.’

“These crimes are serious crimes and that’s why it is the general prosecutor who prosecuted me because it is in Finnish law,” Räsänen told the Times. “They are serious crimes, and that’s why it is not the [local] prosecutor who is in charge of this.”

The three-judge District Court panel unanimously acquitted Räsänen, and awarded her approximately $67,000 for legal fees.

Currently in Washington to address the 2022 International Religious Freedom Summit, Räsänen told the Times: “This [case] has already taken three years of my life. And it will take at least one year, I suppose, perhaps many more years.”

However, Räsänen is hopeful that a victory in the court of appeals would set a solid precedent for free speech in Finland.

“We have the possibility to gain even a bigger, bigger victory … a guideline for future cases,” Räsänen said.

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