A verdict in the closely watched trial of a Christian MP in Finland is expected in March.
The trial of Päivi Räsänen, a physician and mother of five, ended on Feb. 14 at Helsinki District Court.
Also standing trial was Juhana Pohjola, a bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland.
The charges against Räsänen relate to her comments in a 2004 pamphlet, her appearance on a 2018 television program, and a Twitter post in 2019.
The Prosecutor General charged the 62-year-old, who served as Finland’s interior minister from 2011 to 2015, with incitement against a minority group, arguing that her statements were “likely to cause intolerance, contempt, and hatred towards homosexuals.”
The charge against Pohjola concerns his decision to publish Räsänen’s pamphlet, “Male and Female He Created Them.”
Lorcán Price, legal counsel for the Christian legal group ADF International, who was present at the trial, said: “This prosecution for hate speech has turned into a theological trial of what Christian beliefs can and cannot be expressed in Finland.”
“It is incredible this trial is happening in a modern European country and not in a religious theocracy.”
Read more at National Catholic Register