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HELSINKI, Finland -- Today, Family Research Council Special Advisor for Religious Freedom and pastor who was wrongly imprisoned in a Turkish prison for two years, Andrew Brunson, met with Finnish MP Paivi Maria Rasanen. MP Rasanen is currently awaiting a verdict in three criminal charges of alleged "hate speech" brought against her by Finland's Prosecutor General. The criminal case arose from a 2019 tweet directed at her church leaders, a 2019 radio interview, and a 2004 pamphlet she authored. Outside the courtroom in Helsinki on the day of closing arguments, Brunson delivered 14,341 prayer pledges to MP Rasanen from FRC's supporters who are committing to pray for her as the case continues.
The FRC prayer pledge states:
"I, the undersigned, want you to be encouraged that I am praying for you and Bishop Juhana Pohjola as you are being persecuted and attacked for sharing the truth of Scripture regarding God's design for marriage and sexuality. Your bold stand to live out Acts 5:29 by obeying God rather than man is inspiring to Christians in Finland, the United States, and around the world. I am praying that the Lord Jesus will give you favor in the courtroom where you are on trial for your faith. May God open the eyes of those deceived by the culture to the truth of His Word. No matter the outcome of your case, may the Lord's peace surround you as you stand upon His promise in Romans 8:28 "that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.'"
Brunson also released the following statement:
"I so admire Paivi Rasanen's courage and faith. There is a way to escape the pressure--she could compromise, apologize for her beliefs. But she is standing firm. I think that many in the West are going to face similar choices as the culture becomes increasingly hostile to faithful followers of Jesus. Paivi is giving a powerful example of uncompromising allegiance to God's Word for us to follow. I honor her for this."