ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, March 29   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Coronavirus
Which of these online initiatives should churches prioritise?






SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Freedom of speech
 

Finnish Christian MP called for “police interrogation” as investigation about tweet quoting Bible continues

Päivi Räsänen, the leader of the Christian Democrats, could be accused under Section 10 of the Criminal Code of Finland for “ethnic agitation”. A fine or prison are contemplated for this crime.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus, Joel Forster HELSINKI 25 OCTOBER 2019 09:54 h GMT+1
Päivi Räsänen, FInnish MP and leader of the Christian Democratic Party.

The police investigation against Päivi Räsänen, the Christian politician in Finland who posted a message on social media criticising the position of the Lutheran Church on LGBT matters, continues.



Räsänen is an experienced politician and leader of the Christian Democratic Party. She is a committed Christian believer and a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF, historic Protestants) – of which her husband is a pastor.



Now the police has informed her that she will be called to an interrogation whose specific date is not known yet, but that is expected to happen “soon”. Räsänen told Evangelical Focus: “I cannot see that I would have committed a crime”. And added: We are living strange times as evaluating the Church leads to a police investigation”.



 



A TWEET ON BIBLE, CHURCH AND THE ‘LGBT PRIDE’



In June, Räsänen posted a message on Twitter and Facebook in which she criticised the fact that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland had become an official partner of the 2019 LGBT Pride events. She was “shocked” at this decision because “our Church Act states that ‘All doctrine must be examined and evaluated according to God’s Holy Word’”, she has told Evangelical Focus. “Pride events celebrate acts and relations that the Bible calls sinful and shameful”.



 



The message quoting the Bible posted on 17 June on Twitter and Facebook by Päivi Räsänen. / Facebook



The ELCF is called a “national church” and plays an active role in the public sphere and has the right to collect church tax from its membership that is largely secularised but contains an active minority of conservative revival movements.



In the message posted on 17 June, the Christian politicians quoted a text from the New Testament: Romans 1:24-27. “Based on these Scriptures, I asked in my tweet that led to the police investigation: ‘How can the church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of pride?’”.



 



WHAT THE CRIMINAL CODE SAYS ABOUT “INSULTS”



Räsäne now risks to be declared guilty of going against the Section 10 of the Criminal Code of Finland, which refers to “Ethnic agitation (511/2011)”.



This section says: “A person who makes available to the public or otherwise spreads among the public or keeps available for the public information, an expression of opinion or another message where a certain group is threatened, defamed or insulted on the basis of its race, skin colour, birth status, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation or disability or a comparable basis, shall be sentenced for ethnic agitation to a fine or to imprisonment for at most two years”.



 



BIBLE VERSES READ DURING PARLIAMENT SESSION



 



Päivi Räsänen.

In October, during a Parliament session debate on the ELCF Church Act, Räsänen used her turn to speak to read aloud the same verses from the the New Testament that had opened the police investigation.



“I did this because I thought it was necessary for the parliamentarians to pay attention to the fact that although there were some minor changes proposed to the Church Act, the majority of the Act stayed the same”, Räsänen explains.



“The Act still prescribes that the Lutheran Church confesses the Bible-based Christian faith. This means that the Parliament has not only allowed the Church to confess its faith in its doctrine and action, it actually prescribes it to do so”.



 



‘CALM MIND ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF THE PROCESS’



In September, Räsänen told Evangelical Focus that she had “a completely calm mind about this [the investigation]. I am going to use my freedom to believe and to speak accordingly, whatever the outcome of this process may be”.



But she said she was worried that such cases opened against Bible-believing Christians would severely restrict freedom of speech. “Many, especially the young people, are afraid that if you are labelled as a Bible-believing Christian, it will hinder your career and social acceptance”.



Read the full interview with Päivi Räsänen here: “The more Christians keep silent on controversial themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech gets”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Finnish Christian MP called for “police interrogation” as investigation about tweet quoting Bible continues
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade

The Director of the Jubilee Centre (Cambridge) analyses the impact of the financial crises on families, and the future of the workplace in a connected world, from a Christian perspective.

 
Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade

Jim Memory analyses the main issues that have changed Europe in the 2010-2019 decade. How should Christians live in a continent that has lost its soul?

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers? How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers?

Dave Patty shares about the notion of parenting children on God’s behalf.

 
What is a prayer meeting? What is a prayer meeting?

“Prayer is like a fire. One spark that someone prays should ignite a passion in someone else”. Mike Betts leads the network of churches Relational Mission.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.