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Christian Politician Threatened With Jail for Bible Tweet, Now Dragged Before Finland's Supreme Court

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Finland’s Supreme Court has announced it will take up a contentious case against a Christian politician who has faced a years-long legal battle for sharing her biblical views on sexuality.

Listen to them on the latest episode of “Quick Start”:

Dr. Päivi Räsänen, the Finnish politician who was once again victorious in court this past November, will continue her battle after the prosecutor appealed to the nation’s high court.

Räsänen’s Response

Räsänen, a member of parliament and former interior secretary, responded to the news the Finnish Supreme Court will take up her case in a press release Friday by affirming she will “continue to fight for freedom of speech.”

“The Supreme Court has today announced that it will give the Prosecutor General the permission to appeal the unanimous acquittal of the Helsinki Court of Appeal concerning the charges about my statements,” she wrote.

Even if Räsänen loses at the Supreme Court, she said she is prepared to take the case outside of her country to affirm her rights, fighting back against the hate speech charges she has incessantly faced throughout her years-long struggle.

“I have, however, a peaceful mind and I am ready to continue to defend free speech and freedom of religion before the Supreme Court and, if need be, also before the European Court of Human Rights,” Räsänen said.

While Räsänen’s case originally carried a risk of jail time upon conviction, ADF International said earlier this year the prosecution wants “tens of thousands of Euros in fines” and censorship of a decades-old pamphlet written by Räsänen on the topic of biblical marriage.

Bishop Juhana Pohjola, a faith leader in Finland who published the pamphlet, is also facing charges.

It’s a case that has made international headlines — and with good reason. Räsänen’s continued prosecution for sharing her sincerely held beliefs has left many on edge over the ramifications that could unfold if she inevitably loses.

The Battle Forges On

After the Helsinki Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the three criminal charges against Räsänen in November, she told CBN Digital she was “grateful and relieved.”

She knew at the time, though, that an appeal was possible.

Räsänen noted an important fact in her latest Supreme Court statement: six judges from two separate courts have “not found anything illegal” from her texts, which will now again be litigated.

“I can only understand this all from the point of view that this case is a precedent,” she said. “This court case is historic for freedom of expression and religion. At the trial’s core is whether it is allowed to share the teaching of the Bible and publicly agree with them.”

Ultimately, Räsänen said a full acquittal would “establish a stronger legal precedent on freedom of expression and religion” than was solidified in the lower courts. She’s hoping this major showdown before the Supreme Court will also grant rights to others.

The Backstory

As CBN Digital reported, Räsänen’s plight began June 17, 2019, when she tweeted the text of Romans 1:24-27, which condemns homosexuality as sinful. She was alarmed at the time over a decision by her denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to support an LGBTQ Pride event, so she responded by sharing Scripture on her X account, sparking a criminal complaint.

Then, a pamphlet detailing biblical views on sexuality she wrote nearly 20 years ago and a radio interview also landed her in legal hot water, culminating in a trial last year. She was acquitted in the first legal battle before the prosecutor appealed and ended up in court again in the most recent legal debacle.

In the trial that concluded in November, Räsänen said the prosecutor argued she’s allowed to “believe in her mind whatever about the Bible, but it is illegal to express it outwardly.”

Räsänen could have faced a maximum punishment of two years in jail if convicted, though the prosecutor was reportedly pushing for a “heavy fine.”

Beyond that, though, Räsänen was most concerned the case essentially put the Bible on trial in Finland, despite the fact the nation has freedom of faith and speech enshrined in its constitution. Those considerations persist with the latest Supreme Court announcement.

“It would start the time of persecution of Christians in Finland, if I would be convicted,” Räsänen previously said. “Many lawyers agree with me, and then it would have … ramifications to other European countries.”

Her continued fight, as she said in her latest statement, at the Supreme Court — or even beyond — could more permanently cement religious freedom for herself and others in Europe.

***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.