Trusting God in the midst of difficulties
29/03/2022 Finland (International Christian Concern) – All she did was post a tweet questioning the decision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland to become an official sponsor of Helsinki Pride Day 2019. The Never crossed Rasanen’s mind that she would face a criminal trial for her tweet a few years later.
Rasanen is a member of the Finnish Parliament, a former Finnish interior minister, and a strong believer in biblical teachings and values. In his 2019 tweet, Rasanen included an image of an open Bible at Romans 1:24-27. She is currently undergoing a criminal trial, the first session of which took place on January 24, 2022, followed by another procedure in February and a final decision expected on March 30, 2022.
“In all charges, I deny any wrongdoing. My writings and statements under investigation relate to the teachings of the Bible on marriage,” Rasanen said in a statement after the January 24 trial. In the statement, Rasanen emphasized her respect for human dignity, including those with whom she disagrees. “I categorically reject the prosecutor’s qualification of my convictions. I emphasize that…all human beings are created in the image of God and have equal human dignity and rights.
International Christian Concern’s advocacy director had the opportunity to speak with Rasanen in the days leading up to the trial. In the interview, Rasanen shared that she never imagined her tweet would lead to a criminal trial that could land her in jail for up to two years.
Because of her tweet, she was repeatedly questioned by the police and even asked to recant her beliefs and her writings. Rasanen was asked to recant during a police questioning, but refused.
After the police investigation, Finnish Attorney General Raija Toiviainen insisted on pressing charges against Rasanen, despite the fact that the police found no wrongdoing.
Toiviainen reportedly said that it is okay to quote the Bible, but it is illegal to agree with what it says. She apparently went so far as to compare the Bible to Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler’s racist and bigoted manifesto.
Rasanen argues that she simply stands firm on her beliefs and on her rights under the Finnish Constitution to speak freely in accordance with her religious beliefs. In his original tweet, Rasanen actually espoused the same biblical upholders on sexuality, gender and marriage still officially held by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.
Rasanen’s case sparked a series of reactions from the public and the media. The overwhelming majority of people supported her for a variety of reasons ranging from freedom of speech to freedom of religion. Even atheists defended Rasanen and publicly supported his right to express his sincere religious beliefs. Rasanen has also faced heavy criticism for her stance, but condemnation of such attacks on her has been lacking.
As a result of Rasanen’s case, Finnish Christians and church leaders live in fear as they deliver their sermons, preaching the same content and values as always, but now looking over their shoulder whenever their words begin to recall the speech that caused a member’s arrest. of Parliament.
Their fear of persecution for upholding biblical values is based on an unfortunate reality. Nevertheless, even in the face of these challenges, Rasanen insists that it is time for worshipers to stand up for their beliefs, uphold their values and defend their rights.
In the days leading up to today, Rasanen maintained a calm mind and a confident spirit about his security in God’s will. She believes this episode will serve God’s purposes and give the gospel an opportunity to be heard all over the world. She maintains her belief that Finland is still a democratic country with strong guarantees in its constitution for freedom of religion and expression. Rasanen believes that the outcome of his case will not only have important consequences for the future of Finland, but for all of Western Europe and the free world.
“If Attorney General Toiviainen’s attack on freedom of religion and speech succeeds, the ramifications will be far-reaching,” he added. said Matias Perttula, ICC Advocacy Director. “Everyone deserves the right to practice their religion free from harassment, bullying and intimidation. Rasanen has the right under the Finnish Constitution and international human rights law to practice his religion. It is to be hoped that the Finnish courts will enforce this right in the coming months. It is baffling that according to Finland’s Attorney General her own bigoted commentary on the Bible is allowed, but Ms Rasanen is not allowed to express her views on marriage, sex and sexuality – this is absolutely nonsense.
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