Finnish Supreme Court to Hear Case on Politician Sharing Bible Verse

The Finnish Supreme Court will hear the case of Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen, who was charged with committing a “hate crime” after she shared a 2019 tweet including a Bible verse and views supporting traditional marriage.

The charges against her were previously dismissed by both the Helsinki District Court and the Court of Appeal.

At the time of the dismissal, Executive Director of Alliance Defending Freedom International Paul Coleman said in a statement, “At the heart of the prosecutor’s examination of Räsänen was this: would she recant her beliefs? The answer was no – she would not deny the teachings of her faith. The cross-examination bore all the resemblance of a ‘heresy’ trial of the middle ages; it was implied that Räsänen had ‘blasphemed’ against the dominant orthodoxies of the day.”

Räsänen said she had a “peaceful mind” and is “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,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom International.

“In my case the investigation has lasted almost five years, has involved untrue accusations, several long police interrogations totaling more than 13 hours, preparations for court hearings, the District Court hearing, and a hearing in the Court of Appeal,” she continued. “This was not just about my opinions, but about everyone’s freedom of expression. I hope that with the ruling of the Supreme Court, others would not have to undergo the same ordeal. I have considered it a privilege and an honor to defend freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right in a democratic state.”

State prosecutors want the politician to receive thousands of Euros in fines and be censored.

In 2021, Finland’s Prosecutor General brought three charges of “agitation against a minority group” against Räsänen, which fall under “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in the Finnish criminal code.