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Finnish MP who faced prison over Bible verse tweet says she would do it again

Finnish police interrogated Päivi Räsänen, a member of the Christian Democrats and a former minister to the interior for Finland, for the ‘crime’ of tweeting her biblical worldview back in 2019.

Räsänen tweeted a Bible verse in response to the participation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in the LGBT+ Pride celebrations. She had to endure over 13 hours of interrogation; an oppressive trial on charges of provocation against a minority group and possible hate crime, and numerous lies spread by the media. Following a legal battle, supported by Christian legal organisation Alliance Defending Freedom, the District Court found her not guilty of all charges in 2022.

However, almost four years later, her second trial is due at the Finnish Court of Appeal in August 2023 after receiving a unanimous verdict at the District Court of Helsinki. Following the tweet, the police also investigated a pamphlet that she wrote for her church in 2004 titledAs Man and Woman He Created Them about sexuality and marriage. Bishop Juhana Pohjola was also put on trial for publishing the pamphlet.

Räsänen, a committed civil servant and grandmother never thought she would be put on trial for sharing her Christian beliefs in public. In an interview she stated that despite the ordeal she had to go through, she would do the same again.

“I would absolutely do it the same way…I think now is the time to speak. I think that the problem has been that in Finnish society and the Finnish churches, and Christians, they have been too silent. We have not, in churches and in pulpits, been teaching about these issues – these controversial issues, for example, about marriage and gender, and what is sin. The prosecutor is saying that if we speak about sin, then we think that some people are inferior to other people, even though I have said all the time that we all are sinners. I am as sinful as other people and I’m in need of grace. That is the core message of the Bible that all people are created as image of God we all are equal”. 

Räsänen is married to a Lutheran pastor, and trained as a medical physician before embarking on her political career.



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