BREAKING— Yesterday, U.S. Republican lawmakers penned a letter in support of a Finnish politician who is facing punishment for expressing her Christian views on marriage and sexuality, criticizing the prosecution for waging an “open war on Christianity.”
Finland, a predominantly Christian nation, is similar to the U.S. in freedoms of speech, religion and association. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Finland since March of 2017.
U.S. Reps. sent a letter to Douglas Hickey, America’s ambassador to Finland, and Rashad Hussain, the ambassador for the U.S. Office of Religious Freedom, in defense of Parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen.
Räsänen is currently facing a second trial before the Finnish Court of Appeals, following a trial last year before the District Court of Helsinki. This lower court acquitted Räsänen unanimously in March 2022 of charges including “agitation against a minority group” for expressing her faith-based views on marriage and sexuality.
Räsänen’s “agitations” include a 2019 tweet that called homosexuality a “sin.” The following is an excerpt of the letter, signed by sixteen House Republicans.
“Finnish Christians once again stand trial for simply being Christians. For more than four years, a rogue Finnish prosecutor has unjustly targeted Member of Finnish Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola for tweeting a Bible verse critical of her own church and publishing a twenty-year old booklet on marriage,” the letter said.
Finnish Parliament Päivi Räsänen
“This case will have worldwide ramifications. For years, we and many others have raised the alarm that the West was experiencing a hostile takeover by radical secularists — guided by open hostility and rancid antagonism toward Christianity — and that one-day people of faith would face trial for merely living out their beliefs,” the letter continued.
Signers include Texas Reps. Chip Roy, Michael Cloud, Randy Webber and Keith Self.
Other signers include Reps. Mike Johnson (Louisiana), Andrew Clyde (Georgia), Jim Banks (Indiana), Jeff Duncan (South Carolina), Mary Miller (Illinois), Doug Lamborn (Colorado), Debbie Lesko (Arizona), Michael Guest (Mississippi), Andy Ogles (Tennessee), Ralph Norman (South Carolina), Anna Paulina Luna (Florida), and Alex X. Mooney (West Virginia).
Räsänen’s legal defense is supported by Global Religious Freedom at Alliance Defending Freedom International.
“The state is attempting to criminalize the peaceful expression of my Christian faith. By continuing its campaign to censor these beliefs, the prosecution is setting a dangerous precedent of intolerance. I hope for another acquittal at the Court of Appeal. The state of free speech in Finland hangs in the balance,” Räsänen said in a statement.
The Parliamentarian is also supported by multiple Republican senators, including Marco Rubio (Florida) and Josh Hawley (Missouri), who have previously expressed their support for Räsänen’s right to express her faith.
“History will remember this case for either stopping the madness or as the beginning of the end as the West declares open war on Christianity,” the letter said.