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Finland: win for freedom of religion

Finnish MP Paivi Rasanen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola have been acquitted by the Finland Court of Appeal. They were accused of ‘hate speech’ and violating the nation’s statute against ‘War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity’ by sharing Bible verses and traditional Christian teaching about sexuality. Had they been found guilty they could have been sentenced to up to two years in prison.

Iain Taylor

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Finnish MP Paivi Rasanen photo: adfinternational.org

Outside the Court Paivi said ‘I am relieved, happy and grateful to God and to all those who have supported me through this stage of my life. The decision was in line with my expectations – I never doubted for a moment that I committed any offence in my writings and statements.