May 21, 2022

Finnish politician faces ‘hate crime investigation’ for sharing Bible verses on Facebook

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Police are investigating a Christian politician in Finland for an alleged ‘hate crime’ because she shared a Bible verse on Facebook to criticize a national church that took part in LGBT Pride festivities.

In the post, Congresswoman Päivi Räsänen, a Christian Democrat, criticized the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland for participating in Helsinki’s LGBT Pride events in June. His review was accompanied by an image from Romans 1:24-27 which describes same-sex relationships as “shameful”.

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His post made Räsänen the subject of a preliminary investigation by the Finnish police for alleged incitement against sexual and gender minorities.

“The preliminary investigations have not yet been completed. Police will provide more details once the investigation is complete or presented to a prosecutor for consideration of the charges,” the Helsinki Police Department officer in charge of the investigation told the Helsinki Times.

Finnish Christian Democrat MP and former Minister of the Interior, Päivi Räsänen.
(Facebook: Päivi Rasänen)

Räsänen, who is a member and married to a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF), was criticized for her June post on Facebook: “How can the doctrinal foundation of the Church, the Bible, be compatible with raising shame and sin as a matter of pride? #LGBT #HelsinkiPride2019.”

The vast majority, 69%, of Finns are members of the ELCF, which has seen a steady decline in recent years, according to Evangelical Focus.

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In mid-August, the Finnish politician tweeted: “I’m not worried on my part, because I hope it doesn’t go to the prosecutor. However, I am concerned if the quote from the Bible is considered even “slightly” illegal. I hope this will not lead to self-censorship among Christians. ROMs. 1:24-27.”

Räsänen’s minority party holds five seats in the 200-seat Finnish Parliament. She is known for her defense of mainstream Christian views on abortion and marriage, but after being called a ‘homophobe’, the politician tweeted: ‘It’s not fair to call Christian belief a phobia’.

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She is one of three female politicians in the country currently under preliminary investigation, joining Social Democrat Hussein Al-Taee and Finnish party Juha Mäenpää on suspicion of incitement over racist remarks.