An open letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on the prosecution of Dr Päivi Räsänen.

May 5, 2021 by

by Martin Davie:

Dear Archbishop Justin and Archbishop Stephen,

I am writing to you about the case of the Finnish Christian member of Parliament Dr Päivi Räsänen who is being prosecuted by the authorities in Finland for publicly upholding traditional Christian teaching on sexual ethics.[1]

The alleged crime for which Dr Räsänen is being prosecuted, and for which she faces up to six years in prison if convicted, is declaring in a pamphlet published in 2004, and in a 2018 television show, that God ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman and that same-sex sexual relationships are contrary to God’s will, and for posting a tweet critical of the Church of Finland’s support for the Helsinki LGBT Pride event in 2019.

The prosecution of Dr Räsänen is a matter of concern for members of the Church of England because she is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, a church with which we are in communion under the 1992 Porvoo Agreement, and because there are congregations of the Diocese in Europe in Finland whose members could potentially face prosecution in exactly the same manner as Dr Räsänen.

There are four key questions about the prosecution of Dr Räsänen on which it would be good to be clear about your views.

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