Päivi Maria Kuvaja Räsänen, born in 1959, is the mother of seven children, grandmother of five grandchildren, a physician and Finnish politician. She has been a member of parliament since 1995 in the ranks of Suomen Kristillisdemokraatit, the Christian Democratic Party of Finland, and is now its leader. She also served as Minister of the Interior from June 2011 to May 2015. In recent months, Räsänen has ended up on the grill of political correctness. Her “crime?” Having published a book in 2004 entitled Mieheksi ja naiseksi hän heidät loi, a title quoting verse 27 of the first chapter of Genesis, “Male and female He created them.” In 2019, exactly fifteen years later, someone filed a complaint against her. Hence began her ordeal.
As she explains in an interview with the director of iFamNews, Marco Respinti, and published in the monthly magazine The Rudder, “in the summer of 2019 I ended up on trial for three crimes and a new trial awaits me in the Helsinki District Court. And so it will go on, for years. I am accused of inciting hatred against a minority and this, in addition to a fine, can also result in imprisonment of up to two years.”
Räsänen explains what the three offenses in question are: “In a tweet two years ago, I questioned the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church’s support of Helsinki LGBT Pride 2019 by posting verses from Romans 1:24-27. The complaint of the guy I referred to earlier started here: insulting minorities. The thing then turned into a trial of my past, therefore of the 2004 pamphlet: second offense, same accusation. The third crime charged against me is what I said on a Finnish Broadcasting Corporation talk show on the topic of “What would Jesus think about homosexuals?” where I repeated the things written in the pamphlet and recalled here.”
The trial will open on January 24. CitizenGo has launched a petition addressed to the Attorney General of Finland, to support Räsänen. “Punishing individuals who express an opinion like Räsänen sets a very dangerous precedent,” it reads. “We urge you to make a decision in favor of Räsänen by choosing to stand on the side of democracy and free speech.”