Christian politician Päivi Räsänen acquitted again

Päivi Räsänen with Paul Coleman, executive director of ADF International, which has supported her throughout her case. (Photo: ADF International)

Finnish politician and committed Christian, Päivi Räsänen, has been acquitted for the second time in a "hate speech" case. 

She was acquitted of all four charges by the Helsinki Court of Appeal on Tuesday along with Bishop Juhana Pohjola.

They were acquitted in March 2022 but were forced to stand trial again this year after the Finnish state prosecutor appealed. 

The decision handed down by the court on Tuesday said: "The Court of Appeal accepts the reasoning and conclusions of the district court's judgment.

"The Court of Appeal has no reason, on the basis of the evidence received at the main hearing, to assess the case in any respect differently from the District Court. There is therefore no reason to alter the final result of the district court's judgment."

The hate speech charges had related to comments made publicly by the pair in support of the biblical view of marriage and sexuality.

The Alliance Defending Freedom International (ADF), which has defended them throughout their case, said they were "celebrating" the victory. 

"Today, we celebrate the necessary and common-sense decision of the Helsinki Court of Appeal to unanimously acquit Päivi and Bishop Pohjola," said Paul Coleman, ADF executive director. 

"The fact that their free speech case dragged on for over four years and came to trial twice is an outrageous abuse of process and weaponisation of the law to punish peaceful expression.

"Whether by governments or institutions, the public sharing of faith-based beliefs is met with increasing hostility.

"Thankfully, justice has prevailed yet again, in no small part because of their brave commitment to standing firm.

"This case shows that we can win. There is still hope and Päivi and Bishop Pohjola's victory is a testament to pursuing victory with courageous resolve." 

Republished from Christian Today UK.