The criminal trial of Finnish parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen

“The criminal trial of Finnish parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola is underway before the Helsinki Court of Appeal….Both stand accused of “hate speech” for publicly expressing their faith-based beliefs.

Päivi Räsänen

“The parliamentarian of over twenty-five years, medical doctor, and grandmother, Päivi Räsänen, said upon arrival at the court: ‘Everyone should be able to share their beliefs without fearing censorship by state-authorities. I know that the prosecution is trying to make an example of me to scare others into silence. Yet, you do not have to align with my views to agree that everyone should be able to speak freely. With God’s help I will remain steadfast and continue defending everyone’s human right to free speech.'” [emphasis added]

“Regarding the booklet discussing Christian anthropology and homosexuality, which Räsänen wrote almost 20 years ago, the prosecution said: ‘The point isn’t whether it is true or not but that it is insulting.‘ The prosecutor also stated, that ‘the authors of the Bible are not indicted’ today, but that Räsänen’s use of the word ‘sin’ is ‘degrading’ and violates ‘sexual rights’.” [emphasis added]

Last year, Räsänen and Bishop Pohjola were cleared unanimously of ‘hate speech’ by a District Court, but the State is pursuing them nevertheless.