In her message sent exclusively to Hungary Today, Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen had thanked the Hungarian public for their support after a Bible reading demonstration held in front of the Finnish Embassy in Budapest. The former Christian Democrat interior minister has been on trial for quoting a passage from the Bible that had allegedly constituted hate-speech against the LGBTQ community.
Her message reads:
“It was a huge encouragement for me to see the news about the demonstration in front of the Finnish Embassy. This four-year process with all the investigations, interrogations, and court sessions has in practice threatened to narrow freedom of faith and free speech by creating self-censorship. At the same time I have been so glad about the messages I have received, in which people have told how God has through this case encouraged them to pray and trust God’s word.
I want to thank you all, dear Hungarian friends for your brave support and prayers.”
The Finnish politician continued by saying: “If we do not now use our right to speak freely, the space to use our rights will eventually get even smaller. The more we keep silent about the teachings of the Bible on the painful issues of our time, the more powerful is the rejection.
We are especially called to stand firm in those parts of the Scriptures which challenge the current ethos and thinking.
I trust that the entire process is in God’s hands and that this all has a purpose. I pray that this process would still open chances to testify about Jesus and the message of the gospel in public. There were several live broadcasts and press conferences from the courthouse to Finnish homes and I had many chances to tell what the solution to the problem of sin in the word of God is. And now I pray that also tomorrow I would get chances to tell about the gospel to the public.
The mere process of litigation has a deterrent effect of curtailing freedom of expression and religion. If writings based on biblical teachings were to be condemned, that would mean a serious restriction of freedom of religion. It is natural that this would raise concerns among Christians both in Finland and internationally. For my part, I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion in all necessary courts, even the European Court of Human Rights if necessary,” Räsänen concluded.
Photo: Kulifai Máté Facebook
The Executive Director of the organization that supports Räsänen in her legal battle also sent a message to Hungary Today:
“The international support Päivi Räsänen receives is truly encouraging. Yesterday, an independently organized group of supporters gathered about 500 people to peacefully pray, sing, and read from the Bible in front of the Finnish Embassy in Budapest. I am deeply encouraged by every person who steps up in defense of Päivi’s right to share her beliefs.
The courage and initiative of the Hungarian people who support Päivi from afar is inspiring. Together, we can all stand for everyone’s right to freedom of speech and religion in Europe,”
wrote Paul Coleman, Executive Director of ADF International and serving as part of Räsänen’s legal team.
Paul Coleman (L) with Päivi Räsänen. Photo: ADF International
Featured Photo: ADF International