Finnish Politician Accused of "Incitement of Hatred" over Booklet "Male and Female He Created Them"
“A lawmaker and pastor’s wife in Finland who was already being probed by police over a social media post in which she questioned the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland’s partnership with a Helsinki Pride event is now also facing a preliminary ‘incitement’ investigation over a booklet that she wrote 15 years ago entitled ‘Male and Female He Created Them.’ The Office of the Prosecutor General of Finland issued a press release on Monday noting that while Päivi Räsänen’s 2004 publication--which remains online--‘takes a stand on ecclesiastical policy, social policy, sexuality and marriage in regard to the Bible and its interpretation,’ Prosecutor Raija Toiviainen believes the text potentially constitutes a hate crime. ‘According to the prosecutor general, there is reason to believe that because of the defamation of homosexuals by the violation of their human dignity, Ms. Räsänen is guilty of incitement to hatred against a group,’ it explains. ‘Therefore, there will be a preliminary investigation in this matter.” As previously reported, Räsänen’s husband is a pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which is the largest denomination in the country, having an estimated three million members. Räsänen is known for defending life and marriage, standing against abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality. In June, Räsänen, a member of the Christian Democrat Party (which is different from the Democratic Party in the United States), also tweeted her views about the unscriptural advocacy. ‘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 #Romans 1:24-27,' she wrote, while sharing a photograph of the biblical text, as it directly addresses homosexuality. However, in September, it was announced that Räsänen had been placed under government investigation for her post, being accused of ‘incitement against sexual and gender minorities.’ She also told the Christian Broadcasting Network that she is ‘worried that this case, the criminal investigation, might frighten some Christians to hide and to keep silent.’ ‘Truth usually comes with a price. One often has to pay for following truth, confessing truth and speaking it. Instead, however, people are tempted to sell the truth, to acquire advantage for oneself by yielding to popular, false ideas and by distorting the truth. Yet the Bible exhorts, Buy the truth, and do not sell it! Räsänen stated during a seminar in 2013, according to text posted to her website. ‘If we neglect this right, the space for speaking will eventually get smaller. The more we keep silent about the teachings of the Bible on the painful issues of our time, the more powerful is the rejection. If there are not enough skiers on a ski track in a snowstorm, it gets difficult to proceed. We need people who ski before us.’”
“Finnish Politician, Pastor’s Wife Accused,” Christian News Network, Nov. 5, 2019
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