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FINLAND: MP Under “Hate Crime Investigation” for Posting a Bible Verse

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A Christian MP is under a hate crime investigation for posting bible verses after questioning why the Evangelical Lutheran Church was participating in an LGBT event.

Päivi Räsänen, a member of parliament for the Christian Democrats and Finland’s former Interior Minister, landed herself in hot water after daring to criticize the national Evangelical Lutheran Church for their participation in Helsinki’s June pride event.

Her complaint was attached to a picture of Romans 1:24-27 which describes same-sex relationships as “shameful.”

The biblical passage reads:

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

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26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

She queried, “How does the foundation of the church’s teachings, the Bible, fit with elevating sin and shame as reasons for pride?”

According to Fox News, the post made her subject to a pretrial investigation by the Finnish Police for a suspected incitement against sexual and gender minorities.

The Helsinki Times reports:

“The pre-trial investigations have yet been completed. Police will provide more details once the investigations have been completed or presented to a prosecutor for consideration of charges. There will be no further comments prior to that,” stated Pekka Hätönen, the officer in charge of the investigations at Helsinki Police Department.

Räsänen is under scrutiny for publishing a tweet in conjunction with Helsinki Pride on 18 June 2019. Helsinki Police Department on Friday said the tweet suggested that the event is portraying sin and shame as sources of pride and questioned the church’s participation in it.

Following the backlash, she said, “It seems that many Christians in my country are now hiding and going to the closet now that the LGBT-community has come out to the public.”

According to Voice of Europe, Räsänen tweeted in August: “I am not concerned on my part, as I trust this will not move on to the prosecutor. However, I am concerned if quoting the Bible is considered even ‘slightly’ illegal. I hope this won’t lead to self-censorship among Christians. Rom. 1:24–27.”

Räsänen joins two other Finnish politicians who’ve been under investigation for hate crimes, disparaging religious and sexual minorities.

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