Finnish Christians Found Not-Guilty in Hate Crime Trial

Finnish Christians Found Not-Guilty in Hate Crime Trial March 30, 2022

The Finnish Christians who were put on trial for teaching what the Bible says about homosexuality were cleared of all charges.

We have been blogging about the case of  Dr. Päivi Räsänen, a medical doctor and member of parliament, and Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, a church body in fellowship with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

The district court in Helsinki has announced its verdict in the trial.  All charges were dismissed.  The prosecution was assessed 60,000 Euros in court costs.  The unanimous, 28-page decision, stated that “it is not for the district court to interpret biblical concepts.”  Furthermore, the defendants had sought to “defend the concept of family and marriage between a man and a woman.” Though some people might find that offensive,  “there must be an overriding social reason for interfering with and restricting freedom of expression.”

Since Finland does not have double jeopardy protection as Americans do–whereby defendants cannot be retried if found innocent–the prosecution has two weeks to decide if it wants to appeal the acquittal to the Supreme Court.  My sense is that the decisive nature of the district court’s ruling makes that unlikely, but we’ll see.

In the meantime, this is a big win for religious freedom.

 

HT:  Rev._Aggie

Photo:  Bishop Pohjola and Dr. Räsänen (Screenshot: ELMDF) via International Lutheran Council

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