Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen expresses her worries and fears for her fellow Christians after she spoke up against the participation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) in the Helsinki Pride events. She says her comments, which led to a criminal investigation, might boomerang on the Christian community.
Räsänen, a member of The Christian Democrats party, is under criminal investigation for allegedly inciting an “agitation against an ethnic group” after she condemned the church in her Facebook post in June. In it, she shared a passage from Romans 24-27 which speaks about “the due penalty” given to those who practice “shameful lusts” and homosexuality.
The Christian Finnish politician caught the ire of officials who thought of her post as a criminal offense against the LGBT community that warrant imprisonment of up to two years. However, Räsänen clarified that her post wasn’t meant to insult the community but it was aimed at the church leadership. She merely expressed her disbelief that ELCF, which has over five million Christian members in Finland, would contradict God’s teachings when it announced its official affiliation to Helsinki LGBT Pride 2019.
Räsänen added that she only wanted to share and uphold the scripture’s views on sexuality, and she would not back down despite the issue. She expressed her worries though that the investigation “has had a chilling effect among Christians.” She fears that it has led the Christians to go into “hiding and going to the closet now that the LGBT-community has come out to the public.”
Furthermore, Räsänen said she is concerned that the Christians will be less inclined to share scriptures or Bible passages for fear of legal persecution or for fear of being arrested for offending a group.
“Already the fact that a police investigation has been started and there is a suspect of a crime has a significant effect to freedom of speech and religion in practice,” Räsänen said in an interview with Faithwire.
In a tweet, Räsänen also expressed her hopes that the investigation “does not lead to Christian self-censorship.”
I hope the #police investigation won’t lead to self-censorship among #Christian. Let’s use our #freedom of #religion and speech. #church #pride2019 Finnish Christian MP under incitement investigation for quoting the New Testament en https://t.co/cDZ2fFoajM
Despite the investigation, Räsänen holds firm on her Christian faith and urges fellow believers to do the same and stand up for God’s teachings no matter the consequences. She encourages Christians to “have the courage to call homosexual relations sinful.”
“We must obey God rather than man. Trusting that the Bible is God’s Word is a solid foundation for the Gospel to bring forth new life and win hearts,” Räsänen added.
Instead of cowering away, Räsänen says she will continue to use her freedom of religion to share scriptures with others in order to raise awareness. She also lifts up her predicament to God and seeks His guidance as to what her next steps will be.
Yle News is interviewing each party leader ahead of the election. In this clip we asked Christian Democrat leader Päivi Räsänen about same-sex marriage. Watch the full interview here: http://yle.fi/uutiset/rasanen_fighting_to_stop_gay_marriage_and_jihadism_but_pro-immigration/7888344