Päivi Räsänen warned at a talk hosted by the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family that ‘the more we keep silent’ about biblical truths, ‘the more powerful is the reaction. So it doesn’t help to be silent.’

(LifeSiteNews) — Finnish MP and former Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, who is being prosecuted for posting a Bible verse condemning homosexuality, called on Christians to courageously share the truth on controversial issues in the face of persecution.

In a talk hosted by the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family, Räsänen told the story of her ongoing court case in Finland and encouraged Christians to boldly speak out despite possible retaliation.

She said, “The most dangerous threat to this freedom is self-censorship,” stressing that “now is the time to use these freedoms.”

Räsänen recalled a case from 2013 when she was interior minister and the leader of the Christian Democratic Party in Finland. She spoke at a church event about the Christian view on abortion and marriage and said that “all of us have come across situations in life when we have had to consider whether we have the courage to act contrary to public opinions or norms, and sometimes even the law, if this contradicts the Word of God.”

“In Acts, it is described how the authorities refused to allow the Apostles to preach about Jesus, but Peter and the other apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’”

Räsänen said that after her talk, “over 40 complaints about my speech were made to the parliamentary ombudsman accusing me as a minister [of] inciting to break the law.”

The ombudsman ruled that her comments fell within her right to religious freedom.

Currently, Räsänen is awaiting her trial in front of the Finnish Supreme Court after she has already been acquitted twice in court. The former interior minister is being charged with “hate speech” for a 2019 tweet and for writing a pamphlet in 2004 called “Male and Female He Created Them.” As a member of the Finnish Lutheran church, Räsänen had addressed the church leadership and criticized its official sponsorship of the LGBT event “Pride 2019,” accompanying her criticism with a photo of Bible verses from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans condemning homosexuality.

Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola is being charged alongside Räsänen for publishing the 2004 pamphlet defending marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman. In a recent exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Pohjola called on Christians to defend marriage and traditional sexual morals.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Lutheran bishop on trial for ‘hate speech’ in Finland urges Christians to defend marriage


During the initial police investigation, Räsänen was asked if she would recant her views, but she sternly refused.

“I stand behind these teachings of the Bible. Whatever the consequences are, I will not apologize for what the Apostle Paul has stated,” the Finnish politician said in her talk hosted by the John Paul II Academy.

She warned that a conviction in her case “would open the floodgates to a ban on similar publications.”

Räsänen explained the prosecutor did not just go after her individually for “hate speech” but argued that affirming biblical teaching publicly would be a criminal offense.

“The prosecutor claimed in court that my views are known as a doctrine, which she defined and summarized as ‘Love the sinner, but hate the sin.’ And this doctrine she regarded as insulting and defaming because according to the prosecutor, you cannot make a distinction between a person’s identity and his or her action. If you condemn the act, you also condemn the human being and regard him or her inferior.”

Räsänen pointed out that the prosecutor’s argument “goes against the Christian view of man, and also against common sense.”

“This court case has at its core, at the core of the trial, is the question of whether it is allowed to share the teaching of the Bible and publicly agree with them,” she stated.

The Finnish politicians and a grandmother of 11 children stressed that protecting the right to freedom of expression is necessary to spread the faith.

“Protecting the right to speak freely, is not only necessary for the flourishing of society, but especially essential to proclaiming the Gospel,” she said. “So I want to encourage you to use your foundational freedoms and rights.”

“The more we keep silent about the teachings of the Bible and the painful issues of our time, the more powerful is the reaction. So it doesn’t help to be silent. Christians need to encourage one another to stay strong in Jesus.”

READ: Finnish politician to stand trial a third time for sharing Bible verses on homosexuality

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