Finnish politician under ‘hate crime investigation’ for sharing Bible verse on Facebook

Police are investigating a Christian politician in Finland for an alleged “hate crime” when she shared a Bible verse on Facebook after she criticized a national church for participating in LGBT Pride events.

In the post, ex-Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, a Christian Democrat MP, criticized the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) for participating in the Helsinki LGBT Pride events in June. Her criticism was alongside a picture of Romans 1:24-27 that describes same-sex relationships as “shameful.”

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Her post made Räsänen the subject of a pretrial investigation by the Finnish Police for a suspected incitement against sexual and gender minorities.

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

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

Räsänen, who is a member of — and married to a pastor in– the ELCF, came under fire for her June Facebook post: “How can the church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of pride? #LGBT #HelsinkiPride2019.”

The vast majority, 69 percent, of Finns are members of the ELCF, which has had a steady decline over the last few years, according to Evangelical Focus.

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In mid-August, the Finnish politician tweeted: “I am not concerned on my part, as I trust this will not move on to the prosecutor. However, I am concerned if quoting the Bible is considered even ‘slightly’ illegal. I hope this won’t lead to self-censorship among Christians. Rom. 1:24–27.”

Räsänen’s minority party, the Christian Democrats, hold five seats in the 200-seat Finnish Parliament. She is known for her defense of traditional Christian views on abortion and marriage, but after being called “homophobic,” the politician tweeted: “It is not right to label Christian conviction as phobia.”

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She is one of three politicians in the nation under pretrial investigation right now, joining Social Democrat Hussein Al-Taee and Finns Party Juha Mäenpää, who are suspected of incitement due to racist comments.

A rugby chief in Australia suggested quoting certain parts of the Bible was tantamount to “hate speech” in the case involving sacked rugby star Israel Folau.


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