News from Europe

Päivi Räsänen found “not guilty” of hate speech for quoting the Bible

Päivi Räsänen, MP

The Finnish appeal court has unanimously upheld the 2022 acquittal and dismissed all charges against Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola, who had been on trial for publicly expressing their Christian beliefs.


On the 14th of November, the Helsinki Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the acquittal of 2022, finding that it had “no reason, on the basis of the evidence received at the main hearing, to assess the case differently from the district court.

Therefore, there is no reason to disturb the final result of the district court’s judgment.” In 2022, the district court had ruled that it is not the court’s job “to interpret biblical concepts”. The State Prosecutor had, however, contested the judgement.

The charges against Finnish Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola were also dismissed by the appeals court. Bishop Pohjola had also been on trial for hate speech for publishing a text written by Räsänen in 2004 titled “Male and Female He Created Them” that advocated a biblical understanding of sexuality and marriage.



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