FINNISH CHRISTIAN LEADERS NOT GUILTY OF HATE CRIME

Dr. Päivi Räsänen, a medical doctor and member of parliament, and Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland who were put on trial for teaching what the Bible says about homosexuality were cleared of all charges. I have posted previously about this case and am delighted to be able to report a positive outcome. This is a big win for religious freedom.

The district court in Helsinki has announced its verdict in the trial.  All charges were dismissed. The unanimous, 28-page decision, stated that “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts.”  Furthermore, the defendants had sought to “defend the concept of family and marriage between a man and a woman.” Though some people might find that offensive,  “there must be an overriding social reason for interfering with and restricting freedom of expression.

“I am so grateful the court recognized the threat to free speech and ruled in our favour. I feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders after being acquitted. Although I am grateful for having had this chance to stand up for freedom of speech, I hope that this ruling will help prevent others from having to go through the same ordeal,” said Päivi Räsänen after her victory.

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