Finnish member of Parliament could go to prison for quoting Bible on Twitter

by WorldTribune Staff, February 15, 2022

A member of Finland’s parliament is currently on trial and faces prison time for tweeting Bible verses which reinforce her Christian beliefs about sex and marriage.

Member of Parliament Paivi Rasanen has been charged with “hate crimes”. One of the three charges against Rasanen is for tweeting a picture of a Bible verse at Finland’s state church to criticize its co-sponsorship of a homosexual parade.

Päivi Räsänen / ADF International

Bishop Juhana Pohjola is also on trial in Finland for “hate crimes” relating to the tweeting of Bible verses.

Rasanen told The Federalist that, while prosecutors’ intent was to suppress Christianity and criminalize the Bible, they also created opportunities to proclaim Christian theology.

“I was happy to have the possibility to also tell the gospel — the solution to the problem of sin — in front of the court and in front of the media,” she said. Speaking about the first day of her trial, which occurred in January, Rasanen said, “When so many people were praying for the day, God also answered the prayers. It was quite a hard day, but I thought it was a privilege to stand for the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion and stand for the truth of the Bible.”

The court will issue its verdict within the next month. If convicted, Rasanen and Pohjola face fines or up to two years in prison.

“This is a very serious issue, because for Christians the Bible is the word of God, and there is no Christianity if you are not allowed to agree with the Bible,” Rasanen told The Federalist. “Two years ago, I would never have believed that this would happen in Finland.”

Government scrutiny of Rasanen began in 2019 when she tweeted Bible verses. “The tweet prompted the head prosecutor’s office in Finland to sift through her two-decade public career,” The Federalist noted.

The prosecutor’s office found a radio debate Rasanen participated in in 2019 and a booklet on Christian theology of sex she wrote and Pohjola published in 2004 — before Finland’s “hate crimes” law existed. The booklet, entitled “Male and Female He Created Them,” explains the Christian teaching that marriage is defined as between one man and one woman for life.

Human rights lawyer Paul Coleman, who works for Alliance Defending Freedom International and is assisting in the case, told The Federalist: “Which of us would be prepared, hand over heart, to say, ‘You can go over everything I’ve said for 20 years, there’s not anything I’ve ever said you can’t use against me’? No one can withstand that.”

Coleman said the case could be a watershed for the persecution of Christianity in the West, due to its distinctly theological nature and how far it has stretched the interpretation of hate crimes laws that exist in most Western countries.

“I would characterize the day as a modern-day Inquisition or heresy trial,” Coleman said. “And the heresy was that Paivi and Bishop Juhana were on trial against the new sexual orthodoxy of the day.”

Rasanen said the prosecutor also falsely charged her with believing that homosexuals are not created by God.

“According to her [the prosecutor], you cannot make a distinction between a person’s identity and his or her actions,” Rasanen said. “So she said if you condemn the act, you also condemn the human being and say they are inferior.”

Joy Pullmann executive editor of The Federalist, noted: “On the contrary, Christians believe that all humans are sinners and have equally ineffable value to God. They believe humans’ worth can absolutely be separated from their actions. Otherwise, humans stand forever condemned for everything they’ve ever done wrong. Christianity teaches that God is willing to forgive all sins. All that’s required is to confess those sins. This also means Christians consider homosexuals and transsexuals as they do everyone: equally precious, forgiven, welcomed, and loved by God.”

Rasanen explained: “God has created all human beings as his own image and we all have equal value and we all are also sinners. And when we speak about sin, it is something about God and man, and it doesn’t mean that I think someone is inferior to me.”

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