Christian MP Once Again Found Not Guilty of Hate Speech Following Bible Tweet

Finnish MP of 30 years Paivi Rasanen has been cleared of wrongdoing, over a tweet where she quoted a Bible verse. Her victory comes at the end of a grueling four-year legal battle, where she was arrested, charged, and forced to defend her Christian faith on the witness stand. Bishop Juhana Pohjola Bishop, who published some of Paivi’s works 20 years ago, was also acquitted by the court of hate speech. When the Finland Evangelical Lutheran Church became an official sponsor of the Helsinki Pride Parade in 2019, Rasanen, who belonged to the Church, took a picture of Romans Chapter 1 (which speaks of God’s wrath against sin) and tweeted it. She was supported by religious freedom group ADF International. Executive Director Paul Coleman, told Premier the underlying message of her tweet: “How does the teaching of Scripture align with the decision of her Church to sponsor this pride parade?” Rasanen was then investigated by the police for hate speech.

“They just started going back in time”, said Coleman. “They found a booklet that she published for her Church almost 20 years ago, which was many years before the law that she’s being charged under was even adopted, if you can get your head around that! “Then they took a very out of context extract from a live radio debate that she had done in 2019. And they strung these three charges together, accusing her of hate speech, essentially, for expressing her Christian beliefs on marriage and human sexuality over almost two-decade long period.” Despite the court victory, her legal battles may continue. “The prosecutor still has one more option to appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court of Finland. And she was on media in Finland saying she is seriously considering appealing. The deadline for that is the 15th of January,” Coleman said. “So, we will know in two months’ time whether this is the end of the road in this prosecution, or whether it will continue on for another year or two or more.

Coleman says despite the joy of acquittal, the length and nature of the legal proceedings has meant, in his words, “the process ultimately becomes the punishment.” “We’re talking about years of her life which is a hugely expensive exercise defending herself. The state has unlimited resources to prosecute her. And then of course to defend herself is costly varied in terms of time and money. And so, to be dragged through the courts for this length of time, it is an ordeal in and of itself. So, we celebrate the acquittal of course, but we also have to remember that the case should never have been taken in the first place.”

Source: Premier Christian News

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