Freedom of Religion and Speech Is on Trial in Finland

POLITICS & POLICY
Päivi Räsänen, then-chairwoman of the Christian Democrats, attends parliamentary elections media reception at the Finnish Parliament Annex in Helsinki in 2015. (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva/Reuters)
For the crime of expressing a biblically supported view about marriage, a Finnish politician is facing possible imprisonment.




NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE

H
ave you ever posted a Bible verse on social media? In Finland, this could land you in jail. The Finnish criminal code holds that if a person is found to have expressed an “opinion” or “another message” deemed to have “threatened, defamed, or insulted” someone, that person could face imprisonment for up to two years. That’s serious jail time for nothing more than a perceived insult.

Unbelievably dystopian, this law is currently being used to bring criminal charges against long-time Finnish member of parliament, and former minister of the interior, Dr. Päivi Räsänen. Her alleged crime: She expressed her deeply held …

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