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On trial for a Bible tweet

Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola stood trial in Helsinki, Finland, on 24 January.

“Alongside her bishop, Finnish Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen is standing criminal trial for expressing Christian beliefs on marriage and sexuality.

The case began as too many of today’s assaults on free speech do: with a tweet. Räsänen is a member of the Lutheran state church. When she discovered that her church had become an official sponsor of the Pride parade in 2019, she questioned their decision by posting a picture of a Bible verse.

Then the police knocked on her door.

Since she was charged with hate speech, her prosecutors have unearthed more “evidence” of her misdeeds. They clipped a sound bite from a 2019 radio interview and dug up a church pamphlet she authored almost twenty years ago. For publishing this pamphlet for his congregation, Bishop Juhana Pohjola also faces trial,” writes Sofia Hörder, Communications Officer for ADF International in The Critic.

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