A Finnish MP is facing trial–and jailtime–for quoting the Bible

By Jonathon Van Maren

This month, a politician in a Western nation will be going on trial for quoting the Bible in public.

This is not an exaggeration. On January 24, Finnish parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen will face charges for defending the Bible’s definition of marriage in a booklet, in a TV debate, and on social media. The media accuses the politician, pastor’s wife, mother of five and grandmother of seven of being a potentially dangerous criminal, with Finland’s Prosecutor General accusing her of making statements that are “derogatory and discriminatory against homosexuals” that “violate their equality and dignity.”

I’ve interviewed Räsänen on several occasions — for a profile in First Things last year describing her ordeal, as well as several interviews for LSN as her case progressed. Räsänen has been interrogated by the police for hours on several occasions over her public defence of Scriptural sexual ethics, and prosecutors have brought three criminal charges against her. She faces up to two years in prison if convicted. The impact on religious freedom around the world would be catastrophic.

Alliance Defence Fund International has been supporting her case for the past two years, and recently met up with her at Finland’s Parliament to discuss what she is going through. She is a warm, lovely person who served as a doctor for 10 years prior to her political career. Her ethics have always been central to her, and she strongly opposed abortion throughout her medical career due to her opposition to taking human life. She carried these ethics with her when she was recruited into politics.

In politics, she was a member of nearly every committee in Parliament. She served as chair of the Christian Democrats from 2004 to 2015, and from June 2011 to May 2015 she was Minister of the Interior of Finland, responsible for migration and internal security as well as church affairs at the Ministry of Education and Culture. She was, in short, a prominent person who engaged with policy on every level.

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4 thoughts on “A Finnish MP is facing trial–and jailtime–for quoting the Bible

  1. DBilly says:

    There are many sins so why does she single out homosexuals? Ezekiel 16:49 It is sin and God described the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah as grave. Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter (Gomorrah) had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Does this sin not apply to all of us? Note too that lot judged them and there is no record He preached the salvation message too them. Abraham believed in God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. If we have anger without just cause we are guilty of murder the Scriptures say. If men lust after women in their heart they are guilty of adultery. Hello. Where does one draw the line and what man is not guilty of that at sometime. Let’s have some perspective but persecution of Christians and Jews will increase.

    • Jonathon Van Maren says:

      You may have noticed that in context, it was a source of public debate–she did not bring it up in a vacuum, but rather *responded* to what was taking place in her Church (where her husband serves as a pastor) and in her country.

    • Gurth Whitaker says:

      Quote from Dr. Räsänen: “ I have constantly said to respect and defend the human dignity and human rights of homosexuals and other minority groups. The Bible’s teaching is, however, very clear in the teaching that marriage is a union between man and wife and that homosexual acts are against God’s will.”

  2. Rob Matson says:

    Quoting the Bible is now against the law. The Bible also says thou shall not steal And thou shall not kill. Under this logic then the laws on steeling and murder have to be banned. We have idiots running government and putting this lady on trial for quoting a passage from the Bible is insane. Leftist logic is not logic it is insanity.

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