A Finnish politician at the centre of a four year legal battle after tweeting a Bible verse says she would do it all again.
Päivi Räsänen is a member of the Christian Democrats, and was minister to the interior for Finland between 2011 and 2015.
In 2019, Räsänen tweeted a Bible verse believed to condemn homosexuality, in response to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland announcing their participation in LGBT+ Pride celebrations.
She was investigated on charges of incitement against a minority group and possible hate crime.
In 2022, following a lengthy process supported by Christian legal organisation Alliance Defending Freedom, the District Court found her not guilty of all charges.
However, prosecutors are now elevating the matter to the Court of Appeal.
Räsänen says she will elevate the matter to the European Court of Human Rights if she is not successful a second time.
Despite the furore that came with her tweet, in an interview with Premier Christian News she said she would do the same thing again, in the same manner.
She said: “I would absolutely do it the same way...I think now is the time to speak.” This summer, she tweeted a second criticism of the Church’s involvement in Pride, saying her initial tweet was still relevant four years on.
She continued: “I think that the problem has been that in Finnish society and the Finnish churches, and Christians, they have been too silent.
“We have not, in churches and in pulpits, been teaching about these issues - these controversial issues, for example, about marriage and gender, and what is sin.
“The prosecutor is saying that if we speak about sin, then we think that some people are inferior to other people, even though I have said all the time that we all are sinners. I am as sinful as other people and I'm in need of grace. That is the core message of the Bible that all people are created as image of God we all are equal.”
Räsänen is married to a Lutheran pastor, and trained as a medical physician before embarking on her political career.