Christian politician going through trial once more for Bible tweet submits defence to Finland’s Supreme Court

Christian politician going through trial once more for Bible tweet submits defence to Finland’s Supreme Court

Päivi Räsänen (c) is going through trial for the third time.(Photo: ADF International)

(CP) Finnish Christian parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen has submitted her defence to Finland’s Supreme Court after being taken to trial a 3rd time for tweeting a Bible verse half a decade in the past in opposition to homosexuality.

Räsänen’s defence argues she was inside her worldwide rights to precise her opinion regardless of the state prosecutor’s charging her with a hate crime over a 2019 tweet that questioned the Finnish Lutheran Church for celebrating LGBT “satisfaction month.”

“Vague or far-reaching legal guidelines in opposition to advocacy of hatred, or blasphemy, [offense] to non secular emotions and related [offenses] will not be solely arbitrary; they’ll additionally result in the direct and structural marginalization of non secular or perception communities,” the defence submission states.

According to a press release from her attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International, the defence contends that Räsänen, who served as Finland’s inside minister from 2011 to 2015, has at all times advocated that everybody be handled with dignity and never subjected to discrimination.

In 2019, police started investigating Räsänen — a grandmother of 11 who led Finland’s Christian Democratic Party from 2004 to 2015 — in response to her tweet that quoted the condemnation of homosexuality within the guide of Romans. She rebuked the Finnish Lutheran Church for presenting “disgrace and sin” as “a matter of satisfaction.”

Investigators additionally took situation with a pamphlet she revealed in 2004 with Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland.

Titled “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual relationships problem the Christian idea of humanity,” the pamphlet cited Genesis 1:27 to state that God created people female and male, and that their sexuality ought to mirror that.

After being subjected to roughly 13 hours of interrogation over months, Finland’s prosecutor normal used Räsänen’s tweet, pamphlet and a radio interview to attract up a hate crime cost in opposition to her.

Räsänen was charged with “agitation in opposition to a minority group,” which falls beneath the umbrella of the “conflict crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity” part in Finnish legislation.

Pohjola was additionally charged with publishing Räsänen’s 20-year-old pamphlet and can face trial alongside her once more earlier than the Supreme Court.

The Helsinki Court of Appeal unanimously acquitted Räsänen and Pohjola final November, which adopted an analogous acquittal by the three-judge District Court of Helsinki in March 2022.

The state prosecutor appealed their acquittal a 3rd time on two fees, demanding that the 2 be fined tens of hundreds of euros and their work be censored.

Räsänen’s case has drawn worldwide consideration for its implications concerning free speech, with some warning in regards to the rising impulse from some Western governments to clamp down on dissent.

Räsänen mentioned in a press release that the “coronary heart of the trial is the query of whether or not teachings linked to the Bible will be displayed and agreed with.”

“I take into account it a privilege and an honour to defend freedom of expression, which is a core proper in a democratic state,” she continued. “My non secular conviction has been buffeted about by the Prosecutor’s Office of Finland throughout the 5 years of this authorized saga.

“An acquittal by the Supreme Court would function a stronger precedent than decrease court docket rulings for subsequent related fees. It would offer a clearer and stronger safeguard for the liberty of Christians to current the teachings of the Bible — and it might strengthen the precept of freedom of expression typically,” she additionally mentioned

ADF International Executive Director Paul Coleman described Räsänen’s defence as “a watershed case within the story of Europe’s censorship.”

“In a democratic Western nation in 2024, no person must be on trial for his or her religion, but all through the prosecution of Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Pohjola, we’ve seen one thing akin to a ‘heresy’ trial, the place Christians are dragged by court docket for holding beliefs that differ from the accredited orthodoxy of the day,” Coleman mentioned.

“The state’s insistence on persevering with this prosecution after nearly 5 lengthy years, regardless of such clear and unanimous rulings from the decrease courts is alarming,” Coleman added. “The course of is the punishment in such cases, leading to a chill on free speech for all residents observing.”

© The Christian Post


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