Prosecution against Diocesan Dean Juhana Pohjola, ThD


Dean Juhana Pohjola

The Prosecutor General [of Finland] has brought charges against the Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, Dean of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland and MP Päivi Räsänen, MD. The case concerns Päivi Räsänen’s pamphlet Male and Female He Made Them — Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity, published by the Finnish Luther Foundation in 2004. The indictment is for incitement to hatred against a group.

As a representative of the Luther Foundation and editor-in-chief of its website, Dr. Pohjola, Bishop Elect of the Mission Diocese, has been responsible for the distribution of this pamphlet. According to the Prosecutor General, Dr. Räsänen’s writing is degrading and discriminatory against homosexuals. Diocesan Dean Pohjola denies having committed the offense of incitement.

“As a Christian, I neither want to nor can I discriminate against or degrade anyone created by God. Every human being is created by God and redeemed by Christ, and is thus equally precious. This is precisely the main theme of Dr. Räsänen’s writing. This does not negate the fact that, in accordance with the Bible and the Christian concept of humanity, homosexual relations are against the will of God, and that marriage is intended to be only between a man and a woman. This is what the Christian church has always taught and will always teach.

“The decision of the Prosecutor General reveals a great deal about our day and age. It is, after all,
historic that on account of the distribution of basic Christian teaching, we are summoned to district
court. While I am concerned about the state of religious freedom in our country, I trust that the
judiciary will reach the right decision.”

Today [29 April 2021] the Prosecutor General filed a document instituting proceedings in Helsinki District Court, which will set a date for the hearing.

Prosecutor General’s Press Release (Finnish, Swedish)
Male and Female He Created Them: text from the website of the Mission Diocese

Sami Niemi

Secretary of the Diocese

Hämeenlinna ,