News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Päivi Räsänen and Paul Coleman - credit ADF International banner.png
ADF International
Päivi Räsänen and Paul Coleman - credit ADF International.png
ADF International
World News

Finnish MP cleared of hate speech charges in Bible-Tweet case to face appeal

by Kelly Valencia

Päivi Räsänen, the Finnish MP who was cleared of all hate speech charges last month, will have her victory appealed. 

A Finnish court had unanimously acquitted Ms Räsänen of all charges arguing that it was "not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts."

But the prosecution has now publicly stated its intentions to appeal the decision. 

Paul Coleman, chief executive of ADF International, the legal organisation representing Ms Räsänen, told Premier that by appealing the ruling, the prosecution seems to be wanting to protect her reputation. 

"The Helsinki court didn't just find in Päivi's favour and in on the side of the bishop, [it] also had issue with how the prosecutor had set up and framed the case, this is highly unusual. 

"So, in a sense, the prosecutor is not only continuing the case, but considers this to be almost an attack on her reputation because the way that the case was communicated in the media and the way that the decision was made by the Helsinki District Court, a lot of people now have been questioning not only why it was bought in the first place, but has the prosecutor in fact, lied in the indictment? Has the prosecutor actually misled the court in what she said Päivi has said?"

The former minister of the interior was facing up to six years in prison for Tweeting a Bible verse describing homosexuality as shameful in 2019 and for sharing her traditional Christian view on marriage in a TV debate and on a pamphlet. 

The court had ordered the prosecution to pay more than 60,000 EUR in legal costs. 

Reacting to the news, Ms Räsänen said: "This case has been hanging over me and my family for almost three years. After my full exoneration in court, I am dismayed that the prosecutor will not let this campaign against me drop. Once again, I am prepared to defend freedom of speech and religion not just for me, but for everyone. I am grateful for all those who have stood by me during this ordeal and ask for their continued support."

The prosecution has until the end of April to formally lodge the appeal. 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email