The Family Research Council, based in America, has had its special adviser for Religious Freedom, Pastor Andrew Brunson, deliver to Paivi Maria Rasanen in Finland a total of 14,341 prayer pledges.
They are promises from individuals across the nation to continue praying for her as she is “being persecuted and attacked for sharing the truth of Scripture regarding God’s design for marriage and sexuality.”
Rasanen, a member of parliament, along with Bishop Juhana Pohjola are on trial in Finland for being Christian, essentially.
That nation determines it is “hate” to follow the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexuality.
The FRC said Brunson, who himself was wrongly imprisoned, for being Christian, in a Turkish prison for two years, was dispatched to Finland to meet with Rasanen.
Her trial is nearing is conclusion and a verdict is expected to be announced within the coming weeks.
Finland’s general prosecutor claimed that she offended the law in a 2019 social media statement directed to the leaders of her church,a 2019 radio interview and a 2004 pamphlet she wrote.
The pledge states: “I, the undersigned, want you to be encouraged that I am praying for you and Bishop Juhana Pohjola as you are being persecuted and attacked for sharing the truth of Scripture regarding God’s design for marriage and sexuality. Your bold stand to live out Acts 5:29 by obeying God rather than man is inspiring to Christians in Finland, the United States, and around the world. I am praying that the Lord Jesus will give you favor in the courtroom where you are on trial for your faith. May God open the eyes of those deceived by the culture to the truth of His Word. No matter the outcome of your case, may the Lord’s peace surround you as you stand upon His promise in Romans 8:28 ‘that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’”
Brunson said, “”I so admire Paivi Rasanen’s courage and faith. There is a way to escape the pressure–she could compromise, apologize for her beliefs. But she is standing firm. I think that many in the West are going to face similar choices as the culture becomes increasingly hostile to faithful followers of Jesus. Paivi is giving a powerful example of uncompromising allegiance to God’s Word for us to follow. I honor her for this.”
A column at the Federalist said the case is huge.
“While intended to suppress Christianity and criminalize the Bible, with ramifications for the entire West, the prosecution has also created opportunities to proclaim Christian theology all over the world, Rasanen told The Federalist in an exclusive interview last week,” the report said.
She told the publication, “I was happy to have the possibility to also tell the gospel—the solution to the problem of sin—in front of the court and in front of the media.”
Rasanen and Pohjola are being prosecuted for stating basic Christian beliefs about sex and marriage, the report said. “One of the three charges against Rasanen is for tweeting a picture of a Bible verse at Finland’s state church to criticize its cosponsorship of a homosexual parade.”
If convicted, Rasanen and Pohjola face fines or up to two years in prison.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told the Federalist, “Over the past three years, M.P. Rasanen and Bishop Pohjola have handled their persecution with bravery, grace, and mercy. All Christians ought to stand together in defense of Biblical truth and against the attacks of this fallen world, because if the leftists succeed at this in Finland, it won’t be long until they try it elsewhere — including here.”
One of the claims of “hate” made by the prosecutor comes from her booklet on Christian theology regarding sex, called “Male and Female He Created Them,” which dates before the nation’s so-called anti-“hate” laws were adopted.
An expert on the law explained the case is huge because it could be a watershed for the persecution of Christians in the West.
“I would characterize the day as a modern-day Inquisition or heresy trial,” the lawyer explained.
He said the “new sexual orthodoxy” also lends itself to legal harassment of Christians in the United States, where florists, photographers, bakers and more have been run out of business for failing to promote the ideology of the LGBT agenda.
Rasanen explains police interrogated her for hours for her Christian, and she told them she would not recant her Christianity and that it is not a crime in Finland, which is officially a Christian nation with a state church, to be a Christian.
She said the police threatened her over her decision not to “leave these teachings,”
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