RFI’s Paul Marshall: “In Finland, expressing religious beliefs is ‘hate speech’”

February 3, 2022

Paul Marshall, Director of RFI’s South and Southeast Action Team, this week co-authored an article in the Washington Examiner with Nina Shea, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, titled, “In Finland, expressing religious beliefs is ‘hate speech.’

The authors highlight a case in which Finland’s Helsinki District Court is considering criminal hate speech charges against a Christian Democratic parliamentarian and a Lutheran bishop for tweeting Bible verses that forbid homosexual activity. They also examine the case within the larger legal and political landscape in Finland and the implications for future censorship of traditional religious beliefs. They write:

It remains to be seen whether the court will give any weight to Finland’s millennium-old Christian tradition and common beliefs about marriage (gay marriage only became legal in Finland in 2017) and permit continued debate on public issues — and whether it will consider the central importance of the freedoms of speech and religion in a democracy. These freedoms were established to protect unpopular, even heretical, beliefs and opinions.

Read the full article: In Finland, expressing religious beliefs is ‘hate speech.’