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Christian politician formally charged over views on marriage and sexuality

Posted by on May 3, 2021 — Drop A Comment


Finland’s Prosecutor General has formally
charged a Christian MP after she
expressed a traditional view on marriage
and sexuality.
Päivi Räsänen, the country’s former
Minister of the Interior, is accused of “hate
speech” over her comments in a 2004
pamphlet, a 2018 TV show and a recent
tweet.
Three charges have been brought against
Räsänen, each carrying a two-year prison
sentence.
The 61-year-old was first questioned by
police in 2019 after she criticised the
Finnish Lutheran Church – of which she is a
member – over its official support for an
LGBT Pride event.
Following the decision by the Prosecutor
General to bring formal charges, the 61-
year-old said she would not stop sharing
her views.

“I cannot accept that voicing my religious
beliefs could mean imprisonment. I do not
consider myself guilty of threatening,
slandering or insulting anyone,” she said.
“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 is being supported in her case by
the Alliance Defending Freedom. The
advocacy group’s Executive Director Paul
Coleman said the Prosecutor General’s
decision would have a “chilling effect” on
free speech.
“Freedom of speech is one of the
cornerstones of democracy. The Finnish
Prosecutor General’s decision to bring
these charges against Dr Räsänen creates
a culture of fear and censorship,” he said.
“It is sobering that such cases are
becoming all too common throughout
Europe. If committed civil servants like
Päivi Räsänen are criminally charged for
voicing their deeply held beliefs, it creates
a chilling effect for everyone’s right to
speak freely.”


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