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Inside a Modern-Day Heresy Trial

Inside a Modern-Day Heresy Trial

“It was exactly one year ago, on a cold, dark winter evening in January 2022, when Paul Coleman arrived in Helsinki for the modern-day heresy trial of Finnish MP Dr. Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola.

Räsänen, a longstanding member of the Finnish parliament, was being criminally prosecuted for “hate speech.” There were four charges before the court.

Räsänen faced an accusation of ‘hate speech’ for tweeting a picture of some Bible verses directed towards the national church of Finland after it became a sponsor of the Helsinki Pride Parade in June 2019; an accusation of ‘hate speech’ for writing a small booklet on marriage and sexuality for church members in 2004; and a further accusation of ‘hate speech’ for discussing these issues during a live radio debate in December 2019.

Pohjola, in turn, faced a criminal charge for representing the Luther Foundation Finland that published the booklet in 2004. These ‘hate speech’ offences carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison, though on this occasion, the prosecutor was merely pursuing heavy fines and recantations.”

You can read more about this modern-day heresy trial of Finnish MP Dr. Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola in Alliance Defending Freedom International Executive Director Paul Coleman’s European Conservative article.

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