A far-left government prosecutor has announced plans to prosecute – and possibly jail – a Christian who served for years as a member of Finland’s Parliament, including as the nation’s interior minister between 2011 and 2014, over her Christian faith.
The Evangelical Focus publication confirmed Finnish Christian politician Päivi Räsänen has been charged for her social-media posts, a booklet, and her statements during an interview, over a span of 10 years.
She’s a medical doctor who is a leader of the Christian Democrats in Finland, and is charged with three hate crimes against homosexuals, the report said.
The “investigation” that resulted in the charges took nearly two years, including three different “interrogations” of Räsänen, the report said.
The claims against her include that she posted on social media Romans 1:24-27 to criticize a decision by the Finnish Lutheran Church, in which she holds membership, to take part in an LGBT Pride festival for homosexuals, for the contents of a booklet about the Bible titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” which dates to 2004, and her Finnish Public Broadcasting interview where she spoke about “What would Jesus think about homosexuals?”
“I do not consider myself guilty of threatening, slandering or insulting any group of people,” Räsänen said in a statement after what she considers “shocking” charges.
“These are all based on the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexuality.”
The prosecutor, in a report at a Finnish website, claimed the statements were “derogatory and discriminatory against homosexuals” and violated their “equality.”
The charges allege references to the Bible’s statements about homosexual “overstep the boundaries of freedom of speech and religion.”
A conviction could lead to a fine or up to two years behind bars for each offense, the report said.
At National File, a report confirmed the prosecutor is “a leftist who considers communist Nelson Mandela to be her ‘guru.'”
Räsänen, during the course of the investigation, warned “whether these investigations are meant to cause censorship and timidity among people who have a Christian conviction,” the National File reported.
For herself, she said, “I am going to use my freedom to believe and to speak accordingly, whatever the outcome of this process may be.”
But she warned of the message being delivered to young people in Finland.
“Many, especially the young people, are afraid that if you are labeled as a Bible-believing Christian, it will hinder your career and social acceptance,” she said.
National File explained:
Räsänen has repeatedly said “the teachings concerning marriage and sexuality in the Bible arise from love, not hate,” because “the core message of faith, i.e. grace and atonement, is founded on the Christian view of humanity seen in creation, on the one hand, and the great fall, on the other.”
She also has made clear that she supports the dignity and human rights of all homosexuals, because “the Christian view of human beings is based on the inherent and equal dignity of all persons.”
She said in a statement: “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.”
Paul Coleman, of ADF International, is working on her case, and said, “Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of democracy.”
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