The Bible on Trial Again in Finland

      Sharing the wrong Bible verse can get you two years jail time in Finland.

      She was accused of a hate crime for sharing a Bible verse and her views on marriage and sexuality. A court in Finland upheld the right to free speech and dropped all charges in March. But now, Päivi Räsänen, former Minister of the Interior is on trial again.

      But the reason she spoke up in the first place might surprise you. Her own church jumped on the Pride bandwagon at the time, and she thought they were going against the Bible they profess to believe in.

      Back in March, a Finnish court concluded in a unanimous ruling that “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts”. But on August 31, Dr. Päivi Räsänen, a member of Finland’s parliament will return to court due to the prosecutor’s appeal in the case.

      It has been a four-year battle. This is what the God-hating left does here in the U.S. as well. They drag you into court and try wearing you down. The word “bullying” comes to mind. 

      She did say they were trying to make an example out of her, but said she’s prepared to defend herself in any necessary courts of law. Räsänen said she has been encouraged by the international support she’s received but is concerned that any ruling against her would reverberate throughout the rest of Europe.

      “If I would be convicted, it would have consequences around to Europe, because the LGBT advocates, they are so active and aggressive,” she said. “And they have very strong networks … so it would have effects to other European countries.”

      It’s interesting to me all around the world the LGBTQ lobby is so powerful, influential, and intimidating. As she said, they are active and aggressive. 

      What would happen if Bible-believing Christians were just as loud, demanding, and forceful? I think we know the answer to that.

      I also agree with her point that should she be found guilty it would result in the open, legal persecution of Christians. 

      The bottom line is the truth of the Bible is again literally being put on trial. There’s more to the story however, because in 2019, she posted on social media about the Pride event at that time and the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s decision to support it. 

      Describing her concern at the time, Räsänen said. 

      “And it was a shock to me, and as a member of that church … I asked the leadership of my church … ‘How is it possible that you are supporting something, as a matter of pride, what the Bible calls shame and a sin?’”

      This has also happened here in America where people have been arrested for sharing certain Bible verses. In this case, she posted from the Book of Romans and after a citizen made a criminal complaint against her, past statements she made also came under scrutiny. 

      After another complaint was filed against her regarding views on same-sex relationships she expressed on a radio program, charges were filed, and Räsänen was then interrogated by police for 13 hours altogether, accused of “inciting against sexual minorities,” which could carry two years in jail or a fine.

      She found herself sitting at a table in 2019 being questioned about her biblical views and the meaning of the book of Romans, simply tweeting Romans 1:24-27, which condemns homosexuality as sinful. She was charged with hate speech, violating the dignity and equality of the LGBTQ population.

      Even though the charges were dropped in March of this year, Finland’s justice system allows the prosecutor to appeal. 

      You might be wondering if there are any protections for free speech and religion in Finland’s constitution. Yes, which is why she won the first court battle. 

      But Räsänen admitted that the whole process has been like a punishment and could have “a chilling effect for … Bible-believing Christians,” She thinks her case is a warning to others to not speak about their faith which is why this is so dangerous.

      “Now it is time to use these rights to speak and to express your beliefs,” she said, warning of what could befall traditional Christians who hold to biblical doctrine. “What I have spoken or what I have written, it has been about similar things that Christians have spoken and have been teaching for decades, for 2,000 years.”

      Remember, her dilemma was due to the fact she was praying about how to respond to her church supporting a Pride month event, which she said was “quite shocking to me.” Many of her friends left the church but she decided to speak up.

      I think this may be the greater point here, that some of our churches in America must be confronted on compromise or on trying to go with the world and please people rather than stay true to the Word of God. 

      Räsänen had written a pamphlet back in 2004 which also was attacked, called “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity.” Finland’s Office of the Prosecutor General declared her views were “likely to spark hatred and intolerance.”

      Again, in the current case, she faces fines and up to two years in prison if convicted, but her case could impact other biblical writings, statements, and sermons.

      It should be inspiring to us whenever a brother or sister in Christ takes a bold stand on the solid foundation of God’s word rather than man’s word. Räsänen is an example of keeping the faith and having joy even in distressing circumstances.

      She said this whole process is in God’s hands, and “…this has been a privilege and this has been my calling to fight now for these biblical issues…” 

      Amen. And freedom is one of the things we fight for because without religious freedom and speech, the gospel and the truth will be censored and suppressed. 

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