Finnish politician investigated after sharing Bible verse on social media says Christians can't stay silent

Päivi Räsänen

A Christian politician in Finland investigated by police after posting a Bible verse to social media has warned that the margins of religious freedom will only become "narrower" if Christians stop speaking out on controversial issues. 

Päivi Räsänen, a member of the Finnish Parliament for 15 years, quoted Romans 24-27 and posted a picture of the passage from the Bible to criticise her own denomination, the Finnish Evangelical Luthern Church, over its participation in this year's LGBT Pride festival. 

Speaking to Evangelical Focus, the former interior minister said that although many Finnish people still attend church, the influence of Christianity on society is "narrowing" and the perspective of the Christian faith is no longer shared by the majority.

The result, she said, was that across a range of issues, like abortion and marriage, it has become "politically incorrect" to have a traditional view.

She said that "many" Christians, especially the young, are afraid to speak openly about their views over fears that it could hinder their career or their social standing. 

She admitted that the decision of the police to investigate her "came as a surprise" but said that, regardless of the outcome, she was not going to stop sharing her views. 

"The more we keep silent about difficult and controversial topical themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech and religion gets," she told Evangelical Focus. 

"I have a completely calm mind about this. I am going to use my freedom to believe and to speak accordingly, whatever the outcome of this process may be." 

She went on to say that she had considered leaving the Church, in which her husband is an ordained minister, but decided that remaining could be a way to bring about positive change from the inside. 

"As I prayed, I was convinced that now is the time to try to wake up the sleeping ones, not to jump out of a sinking boat," she said.

She added that it was a "wonderful privilege" to know that so many people around the world were praying for her personally as well as her family and her country.