Six Republican U.S. representatives Wednesday issued a letter demanding that the United States take action against Finland for criminalizing Christianity through its hate crimes laws.
Prosecutors in Finland are pressing charges against a Protestant bishop and a member of the national Parliament for publicly stating what the Bible teaches about sex and marriage.
Bishop Juhana Pohjola and Parliament member Paivi Rasanen face fines and up to two years in prison under “hate crimes” laws that effectively criminalize speech and set the government up as the arbiter of what religious beliefs are legal in Finland. One of the charges against Rasanen is the alleged crime of posting a Bible verse on Twitter.
“Free people should not have to violate and recant their deepest convictions to remain part of a free society,” the U.S. lawmakers write in response to this situation. “True religious liberty both protects an individual’s right both to hold beliefs that are unpopular with the prevailing cultural winds of the world, but also their right to live out authentically and profess the truths they hold dear without fear of government interference. Those rights are fundamental and unalienable to the whole human race, and it is critical to the flourishing of both the human soul and civil society.”
Rasanen and Pohjola have each been interrogated for hours by Finnish officials for stating beliefs that Christians have held for thousands of years. They will stand trial in January.
(Read more from “Lawmakers Demand U.S. Punish Country for Criminalizing Christianity as a ‘Hate Crime’” HERE)
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