Former interior minister and mother of five, Päivi Räsänen, has been charged for years of consistently defending and freely expressing her Christian views on family and homosexuality. The prosecution stated that her statements “could cause intolerance and hatred towards homosexuals.”
On March 30, the Helsinki District Court dismissed all charges against Päivi Räsänen, the former chairman of the Christian Democrats and former Minister of the Interior wrote on her Facebook page:
“The Helsinki District Court, in its decision, published today at 1 pm, dismissed all charges against me. I feel relieved, happy and thankful to God and to everyone who supported me at this stage of my life. The decision corresponded to my expectations – I did not suspect myself for a minute that I had done something illegal in my letters and statements.
I am grateful for the honor bestowed on me to defend freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right in a democratic country. I really appreciate the fact that the court in its decision recognizes the importance of freedom of expression. I hope that thanks to this decision, others will not have to undergo a similar trial.
This legal process and decision is historic in terms of freedom of speech and religion. For the first time in a criminal case, the court weighed whether it was possible to quote the Bible and demonstrate its teachings, expressing agreement with them.
It was a lengthy process that lasted almost three years and took up a lot of my time, as well as the resources of the police, prosecutors and the judiciary. On the other hand, I enjoyed the opportunity to present the gospel message of the Atonement of Jesus, which offers a solution to the problem of the word “sin” at the center of the trial.
I hope that the prosecutor will be satisfied with this decision, but if this does not happen, I am ready to defend freedom of expression and religion in all necessary courts, even the European Court of Human Rights, if necessary. At the same time, I will continue to encourage others to enjoy these basic rights…”