Christianity is under attack around the world, and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for us to openly live out our faith. If one wants to know how Christians and social conservatives will be persecuted and attacked here in Washington State in the next 5 years, we just have to look at what is occurring today in California, Canada, Australia, or Europe.
One ongoing case of Christian persecution in Finland demonstrates the severity of this issue. Currently, two very prominent Finnish Christians are on trial for publicly expressing their religious beliefs and claiming that sex should be reserved for heterosexual marriage. Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola and Parliament member Paivi Rasanen have been prosecuted since June 2019 after Rasanen tweeted a picture of Bible verses.
Government officials investigated Rasanen’s tweet, which led them to discover a theological pamphlet that Pohjola wrote in 2004. The pamphlet defends the biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman.
“This case is about whether it is allowed in Finland to cite the Bible and to agree with it in topics that go against the tide and challenge the current ethos and thinking,” said Rasanen.
The court’s decision is scheduled for March 30th, and the case could make its way to their Supreme Court or even the European Court of Human Rights. If one of these high courts judges the case, its outcome could impact the persecution of believers around the world.
While this may seem like a far-removed, dystopian story, we can’t forget that this persecution has started in our own country. Religious freedom is under attack in the U.S., and many of our own government officials are incredibly hostile toward those of faith.
Some Democratic appointed judges and politicians in the U.S. are even trying to implement the same hate crime and anti-Christian laws that Finland has even before any new bill is passed. Witness the recent tragedy where a California judge took away a father’s parental rights to see or talk to his son because he would not support his child’s gender transition surgery! The precedent is now set in the United States, if one disagrees with any part of the LGBT agenda, the government will now take away your children. This is diabolical.
The good news is that God can always use anything – even evil intentions and plots – for good. This case has given Rasansen and Pohjola a global platform from which they’ve chosen to continue sharing their faith despite persecution. “The early Christians did not renounce their faith in lions’ caves, why should I then renounce my faith in a court room? I believe it is my calling and honor to defend the foundational rights and freedoms at this point of my life,” said Rasansen.
The case even led 1,000 Finnish Christians to hold up their Bibles in front of Parliament and show their collective support for religious freedom and God’s Word.
When we are inevitably faced with persecution, even death, we must take after those in Finland and imitate the early Christians in their fortitude. By “we,” I mean ALL elected officials, pastors and bishops, political party officials, Christian schools and colleges, opinionmakers, business and nonprofit leaders, and media and news leaders. We will triumph only if we are passionately united with Jesus Christ and faithfully preach the Gospel everywhere!
Sadly, most leaders today remain silent.
The Devil has clearly taken over the Democratic Party and many institutions in America, and today he wants us to back down when those he has compromised punish us for practicing our faith. To succumb to these persecutors would be to neglect our primary duty, and we will have to answer to God for this negligence.
Regardless of the circumstances or difficulties posed by our secular world, each of us is called to represent Christ in the public sphere, spread biblical Truths, and fight for the human right – and our Christian duty – to publicly share and live our beliefs.
We should be inspired by the faithful Christians in Finland and do everything in our power in a Christian manner to ensure that such diabolical persecution is stopped!
FPIW is working to protect religious freedom and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Washington through our 2022 Legislative Agenda. Our goal is to enable the faithful to prosper and be free in our state.
Please pray for God’s protection over Washington and that all Christians remain unwavering in their faith despite persecution.