Member of Parliament could face fine or jail for quoting Scripture

Rosemary Schindler Garlow and Päivi Räsänen

Paivi Rasanen is a medical doctor, and the wife of the president of a Bible college. She has been a Member of Finnish Parliament for 28 years and is the former Minister of the Interior for Finland. But she is going back to trial – a second time. What was her crime? She listed a Scripture – specifically Romans 1:24-27 – on social media. She was drug through the court process once and exonerated. However, the prosecutor charged her with a crime for the second time. We were with Paivi in Helsinki Finland in mid-June. Listen to this 6 ½ minute interview with her in front of the Parliament Building in Finland (CLICK HERE), and then read the update about her below. Then pray for her. She could face prison time. She might be fined. At one time there were reports that her fines could be as high as $330,000.

So…please listen to the interview, copy off her picture to remind you to pray for her, then read the Press Release below from her.
PRESS RELEASE from Member of Finnish Parliament, Dr. Päivi Räsänen:
”The Bible trial” will continue at the Court of Appeal on 22nd of August – “In my opinion, this is a modern-day inquisition, a theological discussion that does not belong in a courtroom.”
Dr. Päivi Räsänen comments after receiving a formal notification to appear before the Court of Appeal of Finland:
“I have now received a summons from the Court of Appeal of Finland for the next round of proceedings concerning my public statements expressing my religious beliefs. The Court has allocated three days for the hearing, starting on 22nd of August at 9 o’clock. (the address is Salmisaarenranta 7 I, court room 1). Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd August have been reserved for the prosecution to present the charges and the case against me. On Thursday 24th August, Bishop Juhana Pohjola (who has been prosecuted for publishing my pamphlet) and I will be heard.
I have been subjected to a legal process that has already lasted for more than four years for the alleged ‘crime’ of sharing my Christian beliefs in public.
The first charge concerns a tweet including a Bible verse that I posted in 2019. The second charge is about a pamphlet I wrote in 2004, and the third charge concerns my views about Jesus that I presented in a radio interview in 2019.
I am accused of “agitation against a minority”. I have been interrogated on several occasions, totaling over 13 hours, in a police station, I have been cross-examined and put on trial for two days at the District Court all because I exercised my right to free speech.
This case has been named “the Bible trial”, as the prosecutor decided to focus on evaluating the acceptability of the Bible’s teachings in modern Finland.
The Helsinki District Court unanimously and clearly acquitted me of all charges on 30th of March 2022. The District Court made it very clear the prosecutor had not proven that I made statements which she alleged I made, and furthermore that I had not engaged in ‘hate speech’ by sharing my beliefs.
The prosecutors, however, decided to appeal that decision to the Court of Appeal. In my opinion, this is a modern-day inquisition, and a theological examination of my beliefs, which does not belong in a courtroom. The prosecutors’ 26-pages long appeal openly attacks the core doctrines of Christianity, regarding them as “defamatory”.
The contents of my writings and speeches represent the classical Christian conception of marriage and sexuality, which is the same that Christian churches have taught for two thousand years. I entirely reject the allegation that I have defamed, threatened, or insulted anyone, and language of that sort has not been included in my statements.
I have emphasized that every human being has been created in the image of God and human rights belong to everyone. The Bible’s teaching is, however, clear, that sexual relations outside marriage are against God’s will, as are same-sex relationships. I will not back off from this viewpoint. At the same time, I have emphasized that every one of us is sinful in front of God. The solution to sin is not denying its reality but accepting God’s grace though Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice.
I trust that the whole process is in God’s hands and has a purpose. I am glad that this trial has led to a public discussion about the Bible in our society. I am prepared to defend freedom of expression and faith at all necessary levels of justice, even, if necessary, before the Supreme Court of Finland and thereafter the European Court of Human Rights.
Member of Parliament of Finland
Päivi Räsänen

Can I ask that all of you pray for this hero of the faith from now until August 22, her trial date? Can you put her picture up on your refrigerator or in your Bible or somewhere where you can remember to pray for her?
Thank you so much.
Dr. Jim Garlow
Well Versed

Rosemary Schindler Garlow
Well Versed
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