by Arthur Lyons
A Christian MP is being investigated by Finnish police for an alleged ‘hate crime’ after she shared an image of a Bible verse on Facebook while questioning why the national Evangelical Lutheran Church was participating in LGBT pride events.
Päivi Räsänen, a member of parliament for the Christian Democrats and Finland’s former Interior Minister, criticized the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ECLF) on social media after it had participated in Helsinki’s gay pride week in June, Fox New reports.
“How does the foundation of the church’s teachings, the Bible, fit with elevating sin and shame as reasons for pride?” Räsänen posted alongside a picture of Romans 1:24-27.
The verse characterizes homosexuality as ‘sinful,’ ‘shameful,’ and ‘unnatural.’
The seemingly innocuous post caused Finnish police to open pretrial investigation into Räsänen on charges of incitement against sexual and gender minorities.
“The pre-trial investigations have not yet been completed. Police will provide more details once the investigations have been completed or presented to a prosecutor for consideration of charges,” the Helsinki Police Department officer overseeing the investigation told the Helsinki Times.
In response to the widespread criticism, Räsänen said she was criticizing the church’s leadership, not gay people, and that if the investigation was taken any further it would have a “chilling effect” on the country’s society.
“It seems that many Christians in my country are now hiding and going to the closet now that the LGBT-community has come out to the public,” she said.
In August, Räsänen took to Twitter, writing: “I am not concerned on my part, as I trust this will not move on to the prosecutor. However, I am concerned if quoting the Bible is considered even ‘slightly’ illegal. I hope this won’t lead to self-censorship among Christians. Rom. 1:24–27.”
Räsänen joins two other Finnish politicians – Social Democrat Hussein Al-Taee and Finns Party Juha Mäenpää – who are currently being investigated for incitement due to ‘racist’ comments.