Finnish Government Calls Bible 'Hate Speech' in Trial of Christian Leaders
Paivi Rasanen, a member of Finland's Parliament, attends her trial on Jan. 24, 2022, in Helsinki. She and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola wrote and published a booklet in 2004 defining marriage as between a man and a woman. They face four counts of incitement against a minority group. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)
By Luca Cacciatore | Thursday, 27 January 2022 06:29 PM
Prosecutors in the case of two Finnish Christian leaders called the Bible ''hate speech'' in their arguments this week, The Federalist reported.
While standing trial against the Finnish government in Helsinki., Member of Parliament Paivi Rasanen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola defended a booklet they wrote and published in 2004 defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
''The prosecutor began the day by trying to explain that this case was not about beliefs and the Bible. She then, and I'm not kidding, she then proceeded to quote Old Testament Bible verses,'' said Paul Coleman, a human rights lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom International, in a phone interview with the outlet.
''Trial attorneys, Finnish trial attorneys who have been in and out of court every day for years, said they didn't think the Bible had ever been read out like that in a prosecution.''
Coleman added that the judge cross-examined Pohjola about his theology, asking for interpretations on the Bible and if he followed ''God's law'' or ''Finnish law.''
''I would characterize the day as a modern-day inquisition or heresy trial,'' Coleman concluded. ''And the heresy was that Paivi and Bishop Juhana were on trial against the new sexual orthodoxy of the day.''
Coleman said that the trial went on longer than expected Monday and will conclude on Feb. 14. The court's decision will be released between two and four weeks after that.
On Monday, five Republican U.S. senators sent a letter to Rashad Hussain, the ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, urging him to ''monitor the alarming case in Finland against two Christians who have voiced their deeply held convictions.''