Christian Member of Parliament Paivi Rasanen told religious liberty advocate Alliance Defending Freedom that being persecuted for her Biblical beliefs is a "privilege."
The Christian Post reported that Rasanen will appear in court on January 24 for criminal charges that involve voicing her beliefs on marriage and sexuality. Rasanen was previously interrogated by the police for 13 hours regarding her interpretation of the epistles of St. Paul.
"I thought it was quite a privilege to have these kinds of discussions with the police. I had many times during these hours the possibility to tell to the police the message of the Gospel, what the Bible teaches about the value of human beings, that all people are created in the image of God and that is why they all are valuable. (It was like) giving Bible studies to the police," Rasanen said.
As reported previously, Rasanen is facing a criminal trial for allegedly discriminating members of the LGBTQ through a 2004 catechetical pamphlet entitled, "Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity." Rasanen is charged criminally together with Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland Bishop Juhana Pohjola, who was then editor-in-chief of the Lutheran Foundation that published and circulated the pamphlet.
Rasanen faces three accounts of so-called "hate speech," which was what the local authorities and members of the LGBTQ called her testimony on Biblical teachings, for three instances. These involve the pamphlet, a 2019 radio show, and a tweet she posted.
Rasanen, a doctor by profession, pointed out the irony of being interrogated by the police whom she previously became the head of being the former Minister of the Interior. Rasanen revealed the police interrogated her several times with the sole purpose of knowing if she was willing to "renounce" her writings. Being the wife of a pastor, she found the experience shocking and felt it was "Soviet times."
"I could never have imagined when I worked as the minister of the interior and was in charge of the police that I would be interrogated and asked that kind of questions in a police station. But I answered that I will stand on what I believe and I will speak about these things and write about these things also in the future because they are a matter of conviction, not only an opinion," Rasanen disclosed.
In the interview, Rasanen narrated how she landed in politics from her medical profession. She said Finland at that time suffered many illnesses that were caused by "social reasons" that she decided to move into politics. Rasanen then led the Christian Democrats Party for more than a decade from 2004 to 2015.
Rasanen also highlighted the division her case has caused among the media and the general public since there are those concerned on the freedom of speech being "curtailed." While there are those who find here "speaking a sermon about this in church" an offense against them. She also underscored that there are many Christians in Finland who are afraid to speak about their faith, citing pastors sending her their sermons to check if it is discriminatory.
Asked how she feels on her upcoming trial, Rasanen revealed that she is "nervous" since this is something she has never experienced before. She expressed gratitude to all the people who support her and conveyed trust in God on its outcome.
"I have to say that I have a very calm mind. Of course, I am a bit nervous for I have not been in that kind of situation before. I pray that I have the wisdom to answer the questions," Rasanen shared.
"I have calm mind and I trust in God who is guiding," she added.