Voicing Christian beliefs should not be a crime!
Sadly, in today’s culture, it is an ever-growing trend for those not following the status quo to face persecution and in some cases, imprisonment.
The latest recipient of this kind of persecution is Finnish parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen who is facing jail for posting a Bible verse on her personal Twitter account.
Simply because Räsänen expressed her sincerely held beliefs publicly, the police launched an investigation and subjected her to a four-hour interview. Räsänen now faces a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment for the crime of so-called “ethnic agitation.”
It all began in June 2019 when the church board of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland announced its official partnership with the LGBT event “Pride 2019”. Räsänen questioned her church’s leadership on this decision on social media, attaching an image of a Bible passage.
The prosecution has also dug up a secondary charge which finds fault with a pamphlet she wrote in 2004 “Male and female He created them – Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity”.
The third charge stems from Räsänen’s views on a Finnish Broadcasting Corporation radio station on the topic of “What would Jesus think about homosexuals?”.
Despite facing jail and ongoing persecution, Räsänen has shown indomitable strength:
“I cannot accept that voicing my religious beliefs could mean imprisonment. I do not consider myself guilty of threatening, slandering, or insulting anyone. My statements were all based on the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexuality,” she said.
“I will defend my right to confess my faith so that no one else would be deprived of their right to freedom of religion and speech. I hold on to the view that my expressions are legal and should not be censored. I will not back down from my views. I will not be intimidated into hiding my faith. The more Christians keep silent on controversial themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech gets. “
Add your name: demand the three "hate speech" criminal charges against the Finnish Member of Parliament, Päivi Räsänen be dropped immediately. Voicing one's deeply held beliefs as found in the Bible should not lead to punishment including imprisonment.
This is critical. Not only is Mrs. Räsänen’s freedom at stake, but also yours and mine. The very definition of what it means to live in a free society is one in which the state should not be allowed to dictate what you can or cannot say and think.
And while you may not live in Finland and think you are safe in your homes in the United States, Australia, or the United Kingdom, there are plenty of cases of Christians facing persecution right here in your own countries.
It is our duty to stop this persecution in its tracks.
Freedom of speech and Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right (as found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights articles 18 and 19 and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union article 11) and part of that includes the ability to express one’s sincerely held beliefs and not only that but also practice them. In this case, Räsänen is simply following Biblical teachings. She is not being malevolent, violent, or malicious to those with disagreeing views. Her only “crime” has been expressing publicly a view that is not popular in our modern society. When you look at the underlying issue even deeper, it’s nothing more than an effort to silence those who speak the truth.
Punishing individuals such as Räsänen sets very dangerous precedence apart from the fact that it shuts down honest, open public dialogue. It effectively makes following Jesus a criminal act and expressing Biblical teachings, “hate speech” - all based purely on the arbitrary definition of what one can take “offense” to.
Sign our petition today stating that Christians like Päivi Räsänen should not be prosecuted for expressing her beliefs by tweeting a Bible verse.
When a tweet can land you in jail: Criminal charges brought against Finnish MP
Finland Persecutes Christian Lawmaker
The case of Päivi Räsänen, MP