US lawmakers have publicly backed Christian MP Dr Päivi Räsänen, who faces a second trial in Finland for alleged “hate speech” after sharing the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality.
In a letter to the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and the US Ambassador to Finland, 16 Congress members denounced “the legal assault” on the parliamentarian.
Last year, Helsinki District Court acquitted Dr Räsänen, stating that it could find no justification to censor her exercise of free speech. But following an appeal, she has been summoned to attend a new trial starting in the coming weeks.
Signatories to the letter, including Chip Roy and Debbie Lesko, told the Ambassadors they feared that Finland’s legal system was being ‘weaponised’ to silence Christians.
And they warned that the “natural rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion in the public square” for Finnish Christians were in jeopardy.
The letter stated: “No American, no Finn, and no human should face legal harassment for simply living out their religious beliefs.”
Congress members also wrote expressing their support for Dr Räsänen’s co-defendant, who was similarly cleared of ‘hate speech’ in 2021 for publishing and circulating the MP’s 2004 pamphlet, written in defence of traditional marriage.
Speaking last month, Dr Räsänen stated: “I have been subjected to a legal process that has already lasted for more than four years for the alleged ‘crime’ of sharing my Christian beliefs in public.”
She branded it “a modern-day inquisition and a theological examination of my beliefs”, which churches have taught “for two thousand years”.
“Sexual relations outside marriage are against God’s will, as are same-sex relationships. I will not back off from this viewpoint. At the same time, I have emphasised that every one of us is sinful in front of God. The solution to sin is not denying its reality but accepting God’s grace through Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice.”
Dr Räsänen, whose case is supported by religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom International, has warned that, if required, she will take her case to the Supreme Court of Finland and the European Court of Human Rights.