Dr. Päivi Räsänen cleared of hate speech charges
On March 30, Finland’s former Minister of the Interior, current member of Parliament, and outspoken Christian, Dr. Päivi Räsänen, was cleared of all charges in her hate speech trial.
Three years ago, Dr. Räsänen and Lutheran bishop Juhana Pohjola were charged after Bishop Juhana published a pamphlet written by Dr. Räsänen on the Biblical view of marriage and sexuality. Now, they have been cleared of all criminal charges.
In March 2021, the Prosecutor General officially filed three charges for hate speech against Dr. Räsänen and one charge against Bishop Pohjola who published Dr. Räsänen’s 2004 pamphlet.
The trial officially began in January 2022, and on March 30, the court cleared her and the bishop of all charges, saying in its decision, “there must be an overriding social reason for interfering with and restricting freedom of expression,” of which it found none in the case.
Dr. Räsänen received support from all around the world during her trial, from faith leaders and denominations raising awareness about her cause, to protests at Finnish embassies by Christians across the globe, to members of the US Congress and British Parliament raising concerns over the consequences of the hate speech trial.