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Law professors and scholars are calling on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to pressure the State Department to sanction Finland’s prosecutor general for prosecuting a Christian politician who shared her biblical beliefs on sexuality and marriage. In an open letter published by Real Clear Politics recently, professors from Ivy League institutions like Harvard University, Yale University and Princeton University spoke out in defense of Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola. They both face criminal charges related to Räsänen expressing her Christian views on marriage. Räsänen, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, could face up to six years in prison after being charged with three counts of ethnic agitation related to her statements.
Räsänen is the mother of five children and is married to a pastor and Bible college principal. She publicly voiced her opinion on marriage in a booklet on sexual ethics, describing marriage as between one man and one woman. She also expressed her views on a radio show. But prosecutors are saying that her statements disparage and discriminate against LGBT individuals and foment intolerance and defamation. In their open letter, the professors argue that the prosecution of the politician for her remarks could compel Finland’s clergy and believers to choose between prison and abandoning teachings of their various faiths.
Dr. Räsänen stated that homosexual activity should be recognized by the church as sinful, based on the teachings of the Hebrew Bible and Christian scripture. The Prosecutor General has also charged the Bishop-Elect of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, with one count of ethnic agitation for publishing Dr. Räsänen’s booklet.
The professors in their letter said that “The Prosecutor General’s pursuit of these charges against a prominent legislator and bishop sends an unmistakable message to Finns of every strata of society, that no one who holds to the traditional teachings of Judaism, Christianity and other religions on questions of marriage and sexual morality will be safe from state harassment, should they, like Bishop Pohjola and Dr. Räsänen, express their moral and religious convictions.
It is a fact that we are living in very crucial times as Christians. Jesus said about us as His followers, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved,” (Mk. 13:13). Dr. Räsänen said that she did not threaten, slander or insult anyone and that her comments were all “based on the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexuality.” She has vowed to defend her right to “confess” her faith. “The more Christians keep silent on controversial themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech gets,” she said. Let us remember to pray for Dr. Rasanen that God would strengthen and uphold her in this trying hour.
SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK
- BOARD MEETING
- Today, 6:00 p.m.
- LUNCH HOUR HOTLINE/BIBLICAL DYNAMICS
- Wednesday, 12:00 noon – Lunch Hour Hotline
- 5:30 p.m. – Biblical Dynamics – The Study of the Book of “Revelation”
- YOUTH MINISTRY
- Friday, 7:00 p.m.
- HOUR-OF-POWER PRAYER SESSION
- Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
- NEXT SUNDAY – Father’s Day
- Worship & Ministry, 9:00 a.m.
- The Kingdom Men’s Ministry Meeting &
- The King’s Daughters Ministry Meeting is canceled
THE KING’S DAUGHTERS MINISTRY
Ladies please remember to return the Father’s Day envelopes! See ushers for envelopes.
A Perfect Example of
A Good, Good Father
This coming Father’s Day, as you remember your earthly father, take time to thank your heavenly Father for seeing you, knowing you, and wanting you as his very own child.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
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The vision of FRENCHTOWN EVANGELISTIC ASSEMBLY, INC. is to be a mighty people who live as world over-comers: being all God wants them to be, doing all God wants them to do, possessing all God wants them to possess, and manifesting the power of God through signs, wonders and mighty deeds.
The mission of FRENCHTOWN EVANGELISTIC ASSEMBLY, INC. is to bring sinners to Christ, to establish believers in the faith, and to equip the saints to impact the nation and beyond for the glory of God.