Finnish Grandmother Is Back In Court For Tweeting Bible Verses

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In 2019, Päivi Räsänen did what any one of us might do — she tweeted at her church. Her tweet was simple and peaceful. She questioned the choice to sponsor a local pride parade. She questioned, was this befitting of their Christian faith? And she attached a scripture passage to the tweet.

Räsänen will be headed to court for the second time on criminal charges of “hate speech.” This longstanding member of the Finnish Parliament, medical doctor, and grandmother has faced onerous prosecution for four years at the hands of Finland’s government for a tweet.

Subjected to 13 hours of police interrogation, authorities dug into her past, charging her with three counts of “agitation against a minority group” for the tweet, in addition to a 2004 church pamphlet and 2019 radio appearance. Bishop Juhana Pohjola of Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church also was criminally charged for publishing the pamphlet, which discusses a Biblical-based understanding of marriage and human sexuality. Their charges carried with them tens of thousands of euros in fines and even the possibility of a two-year prison sentence.

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