It could soon be against the law to be a Christian in the Scandinavian country of Finland!
Once a devoutly Christian nation, now less than one-third of Finns say they believe in God, but far more distressing is that the country has begun criminal investigations of Christians for expressing Christian values.
Päivi Räsänen is under two investigations for allegedly defaming or insulting homosexuals. The first after she shared a Bible verse on Twitter last year aimed at Finland’s Lutheran church for promoting the homosexual lifestyle.
Räsänen told CBN, “In my tweet, I directly cited Romans first chapter and verses 24 to 27 and posted the picture of the passages from the Bible.” The passage she mentions condemns homosexuality.
Finland’s Prosecutor General has now opened a second investigation concerning a pamphlet that Päivi wrote 15 years ago about Biblical Christian marriage, called “Man and woman, He created them.”
It is biblical teaching that the Finnish constitution says it supports. Räsänen told CBN, and it is because of that, she assumed the investigation would not go anywhere.
“Yes, yes, I assumed. In fact, it was a surprise for me that there is even a police investigation about that case. I wouldn’t have believed it.”
Leif Nummela, editor of a Christian newspaper and a Christian TV host in Finland told CBN, “I thought that this couldn’t happen. It was unbelievable. It was a real surprise. And my first thought was, ‘are they really going this far’?”
The Lutheran pastor who published the pamphlet Päivi wrote on Christian marriage is also under investigation.
Finland’s Christians Had Better Take Note!
Finnish Christian broadcaster, author and theologian Pasi Turunen says this has been a rude awakening for many Christians.
“Finnish Christians have lived in a very homogeneous Christian culture,” Turunen said. “It’s been very easy because everybody thinks and believes the same way pretty much and now this has become a completely new situation for us when our faith is challenged.”
What makes the charges brought against Pavi all the more odd, is that Finland, unlike the US, does have a “national church,” with a constitution that still tells the national church to “proclaim a Bible-based Christian faith.”
Päivi said this all began in prayer when she felt led by the Lord to do something to wake up the national church in Finland on the issue of homosexuality. But she now fears this investigation will make them too afraid to proclaim their faith.
“I’m worried that this case, the criminal investigation, might frighten some Christians to hide and to keep silent.”
If convicted, Päivi could be fined or even imprisoned. And Turunen feels that support for her from Finnish evangelical leaders has been weak.
Päivi says she’s not afraid and believes God has a plan in this for Finland.
She said, “I am waiting to see what God is doing, because when He raises up prayers, then we can know that He is doing something.”