By Jonathon Van Maren
Back in May, I wrote a column for First Things on the ongoing persecution of Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen, who has been consistently targeted over the past several years by LGBT activists for her outspoken advocacy of biblical sexual ethics. Since I interviewed her last, she has been interrogated by Finnish police yet again—simply for articulating her Christian beliefs in public.
Räsänen is not an insignificant figure in Finland. From 2004 to 2015, she served as chair for the Christian Democrats, and from June 2011 to May 2015 she was Minister for the Interior of Finland. Her husband is a Lutheran pastor, and her Christian views were well-known. Not until Section 10 of Finland’s Criminal Code dealing with hate speech was amended in 2011 to include “sexual orientation” did she run into any trouble. Suddenly, the expression of orthodox Christian views held by countless millions could possibly considered hate speech, and perhaps even prosecutable. That, at least, is what Räsänen’s persecutors are hoping.