Finnish Christian MP to appear before Supreme Court over ‘hate crime’ Bible tweet

A Christian politician in Finland will be forced to stand trial for the third time, despite twice being vindicated over allegations of “hate speech” for sharing the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality.

In November, judges in Helsinki found “no reason” to overturn an earlier ruling that upheld Dr Päivi Räsänen’s right to free speech. But the country’s Supreme Court is now set to hear the charges against her for expressing biblical sexual ethics in a 2019 tweet and a 2004 pamphlet. The prosecutor chose not to appeal a third charge based on comments made on the radio.

Legal proceedings began in 2019, when Finland’s Prosecutor General claimed the former Minister of the Interior’s statements were derogatory, discriminatory, and may have violated the dignity of homosexual people.


The prosecution is demanding censorship of her publications and tens of thousands of euros in fines, but Dr Räsänen said she has a “peaceful mind” and will continue to “defend free speech and freedom of religion before the Supreme Court, and if need be, also before the European Court of Human Rights”.

She reflected: “In my case the investigation has lasted almost five years, has involved untrue accusations, several long police interrogations totalling more than 13 hours, preparations for court hearings, the District Court hearing, and a hearing in the Court of Appeal.

“This was not just about my opinions, but about everyone’s freedom of expression. I hope that with the ruling of the Supreme Court, others would not have to undergo the same ordeal. I have considered it a privilege and an honour to defend freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right in a democratic state.”


Paul Coleman, Executive Director of Alliance Defending Freedom International, which is supporting her case, said: “This is a watershed case in the story of Europe’s creeping censorship.”

He emphasised that “nobody should be on trial for their faith” and this is “akin to a ‘heresy’ trial, where Christians are dragged through court for holding beliefs that differ from the approved orthodoxy of the day.

“The state’s insistence on continuing this prosecution after almost five long years, despite such clear and unanimous rulings from the lower courts is alarming. The process is the punishment in such instances, resulting in a chill on free speech for all citizens observing.”


In 2019, the politician shared a picture of her Bible open at Romans 1:24-27 in response to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland’s decision to sponsor a local LGBT pride event.

She wrote: “How can the church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of pride?”

Dr Räsänen was placed under investigation for the comments the same year, but the formal prosecution did not begin until April 2021.

Also see:


Broad ‘extremism’ definition risks clampdown on Christian beliefs

Street preacher wins £15k after wrongful arrest for ‘hate crime’

Peers highlight global persecution of Christians

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