Christians are too afraid to share their view of sexuality for fear of legal repercussions and discrimination, says a Finnish MP being investigated over comments she made about same-sex relationships.
Päivi Räsänen told Finnish website Ilta Sanomat she had been contacted by pastors across the country who are worried their writings or sermons could be breaking the law.
Räsänen has been interviewed by police on several occasions over her public comments and social media posts on gay pride events and homosexuality.
She said that pastors who believe that homosexuality is a sin have become “afraid” to talk about their beliefs in public.
Räsänen, a former Minister of the Interior and Christian Democrats leader, said she had also been contacted by young Christians who say they “have to live with their Christian beliefs in a closet in order not to be branded as completely crazy conservatives”.
She added that displaying rainbow flags had become “a kind of moral measure”.
“This is scary in the sense that people are starting to be afraid to express their own beliefs,” she said.
Räsänen, who is facing prosecution over her comments on sexuality, said she is not afraid of the outcome but the impact on the free speech of Christians.
“I’m worried mainly that the mere investigation has brought about a certain kind of a climate of self-censorship among Bible-believing Christians, fear of being stigmatized, despised, or even interfered with by the police in some way if similar views are expressed,” she said.