Finland charges Bishop Pohjola with preaching hatred against gays

Bishop Juhana-Pohjola of Finland's Lutheran Church: charged over view on gays
Bishop Juhana-Pohjola of Finland's Lutheran Church: charged over view on gays
Bishop Juhana-Pohjola of Finland's Lutheran Church: charged over view on gays
Bishop Juhana-Pohjola of Finland’s Lutheran Church: charged over view on gays

Agency Report

Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (ELMDF) has been charged by Finland’s Prosecutor General with incitement against gays.

The charges stem from a 2004 booklet published by Luther Foundation Finland (the legal entity behind the ELMDF) which articulates historic Christian teaching on human sexuality.

“As a Christian, I do not want to and cannot discriminate against or despise anyone created by God,” Dean Pohjola said in reaction to being charged.

“Every human being, created by God and redeemed by Christ, is equally precious.”

At the same time, he continued, “this does not remove the fact that, according to the Bible and the Christian conception of man, homosexual relations are against the will of God, and marriage is intended only between a man and a woman.

“This is what the Christian church has always taught and will always teach.”

Finland’s Prosecutor General began an investigation of the ELMDF in 2019 for its booklet “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity,” despite an earlier investigation by Helsinki Police which concluded no laws had been broken.

The booklet was published in 2004; Finland legalized same-sex marriage in 2017.

The booklet argues that homosexual activity must be identified as sin by the church on the basis of the teachings of Scripture.

The author, Dr. Päivi Räsänen—a Finnish Member of Parliament—further argues that a failure to recognize sin as sin undermines the very need for a Saviour.

Dr. Räsänen has now been charged with incitement by the Prosecutor General, both for the booklet and for other comments on human sexuality.

As Dean Pohjola is editor-in-chief of Luther Foundation Finland’s publications—including the booklet “Male and Female He Created Them”—he also was charged.

“This decision of the Prosecutor General says a lot about our time,” Dean Pohjola commented.

“While I am concerned about the state of religious freedom in our country, I trust that the judiciary will make the right decision.”

The International Lutheran Council has earlier expressed concern about the investigation of Lutherans in Finland for upholding historic Christian teaching. That concern is deepening.

“Recent actions in Finland have created an international scandal which continues to grow,” said Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill, General Secretary of the International Lutheran Council.

“The implications of the decision to charge Juhana Pohjola and Päivi Räsänen are clear: if the authorities are willing to do this to a respected pastor, reverend doctor, and Bishop Elect, as well as a Member of Parliament and former Minister of the Interior, then that sends a message of fear and intimidation to everyone in Finland who follows the Scripture’s teaching on human sexuality.”

Reported by Anglican.ink

1 COMMENT

  1. Because of gay freedom of speech is now being hindered in the so called free world, can the written words in the Bible be changed? I think that prosecutor should as well charge the publisher of the Bible to court. The judgement of God is near over all disobediet souls as in Sodom & Gomorrah. Now they will be publishing for people to come and study in their Universities to turn them to gays & lesbians?

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.