‘Very Frightening’: Christian Politician in Finland Isn’t Backing Down as She Faces Prison Time for Biblical View of Marriage By Billy Hallowell for Faith Wire
A Finnish member of parliament remains resolute and confident in her faith as she awaits the final verdict in a “frightening” and “alarming” case centered on free speech and religious freedom that has gained global attention.
Päivi Räsänen, whose criminal trial began Jan. 24 and ended Feb. 14, was charged with violating the dignity and equality of the LGBTQ population by engaging in purported hate speech. She told Faithwire Thursday her plight began June 17, 2019, when she tweeted the text of Romans 1:24-27, which condemns homosexuality as sinful.
At the time, Räsänen, who previously served as Finland’s minister of the interior, was alarmed over a decision by her denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to support an LGBTQ Pride event, so she responded by sharing Scripture on her Twitter account.
“This was quite shocking to me, and I was thinking, ‘What should I do now?’” she said of the church’s support for the event. “In fact, I was praying, ‘Is it now my time to resign the church as some of my friends have done?’”
But Räsänen said she got a “very clear vision” that it wasn’t time to leave the denomination and that she was being called to “try to speak loud and try to wake up those who are sleeping.”
So, Räsänen shared her biblical citation and critique — and debate immediately followed. Soon, LGBTQ advocates spoke out and, before long, she said the police began investigating her comments.
Watch Räsänen tell her story:
It wasn’t long before other comments she made about biblical marriage were at the forefront of the discontentedness, including a 2004 pamphlet she wrote, “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity.”
“The police investigated these cases and interrogated me several times over [many] hours,” she said, noting that authorities asked some truly “odd” questions.