Don’t be surprised if one day you are on trial for quoting the Bible on social media.
If that seems unthinkable, you should know it’s already happening to some Christians in other parts of the world. Like tropical storms that devastated the Caribbean and South American nations before hitting American soil, there is a coming persecution that is already affecting Christians around the world.
If things do not change, American Christians will suffer the same storms. There are already warning signs.
The Bible says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).
Christians have become accustomed to getting banned (or shadowbanned) on social media for our beliefs, but it seems strange to think that one day we could be arrested for quoting the Bible.
But that’s what happened to Päivi Räsänen, a member of parliament in Finland.
She has been an elected official since 1995. She was the chair of the Christian Democratic Party from 2004 to 2015, she was minister of the interior from 2011 to 2015, and she is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland with her husband, who serves as a pastor.
In June 2019, Päivi tweeted a picture of Bible verses and questioned her denomination’s partnership with an LGBT Pride event.
The prosecutor general in Finland opened an investigation against her. In April 2021, the prosecutor announced three charges of hate speech against Päivi — one charge for the tweet, a second charge for a 2004 pamphlet on sexuality for her church, and a third charge for a 2019 radio debate on sexuality.
Alliance Defending Freedom International supported her defense at a district court, and in a unanimous ruling in March 2022, the court dismissed all charges against her.
However, the prosecutor appealed the ruling. So on August 22nd, Päivi will stand trial again.
It is tempting to think this could never happen in America. Freedom of speech is protected by law in this country. But Päivi can say the same about her country. The constitution in Finland protects freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
Therefore it is Päivi today, but it could be your pastor tomorrow. If a politician can be charged with hate speech for quoting the Bible, pastors can receive the same charge. If politicians can be charged for that, less powerful people like you can also be charged for quoting the Bible on social media.
Last week, police officers in Wisconsin arrested several young Christians for preaching the gospel at a public drag queen event that targeted children.
In June, the House of Representatives in Michigan passed House Bill 4474, a bill that would make speech that “causes the victims to feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened” a hate crime. Speech against a person’s “sexual orientation” or “gender identity or expression” are listed as hate crimes.
Western nations like America and Finland founded their legal system on Christian ethics, but now they are radically committed to LGBT ideology and opposed to their founding values.
Just as Christian theology shaped the West’s legal system, LGBT ideology is reshaping it. LGBT ideology cannot co-exist with Christian theology. It cannot compete with the loving, hopeful, freeing Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, it suppresses Christianity through persecution. It arrests Christians for preaching the Gospel. It criminalizes speech against homosexuality and transgenderism.
And it charges people like Päivi Räsänen for quoting the Bible on social media.
Like every person in a Western nation, Päivi has a constitutional right to freedom of speech. However, free speech rights are irrelevant if people aren’t empowered to defend them.
Like the first trial, Alliance Defending Freedom International is supporting Päivi. Please donate them to them so they will be empowered to help Päivi win her case. They helped her win the first trial, so with your donation — they could help her win the second.
This trial isn’t just persecution against Päivi, it is persecution against Jesus and His Church. Right now it is a trial against an elected official in Finland, but in the future, it could be a trial against an average citizen in America.
Following her charges, Päivi said:
“I do not consider myself guilty of threatening, slandering, or insulting anyone. My statements were all based on the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexuality. I will defend my right to confess my faith, so that no one else would be deprived of their right to freedom of religion and speech.”
So please pray for Päivi and donate to Alliance Defending Freedom International.
You can donate here.
Originally published at Slow to Write.
Samuel Sey is a Ghanaian-Canadian who lives in Brampton, a city just outside of Toronto. He is committed to addressing racial, cultural, and political issues with biblical theology, and always attempts to be quick to listen and slow to speak.
Free Religious Freedom Updates
Join thousands of others to get the FREEDOM POST newsletter for free, sent twice a week from The Christian Post.