How do you feel now, did you expect this outcome? Was it a huge relief?
I am relieved, happy and grateful for the ruling. It was what I expected . Not for a second did I believe that I had committed anything illegal in my writings and statements.
It is very good that the ruling of the court was unanimous.
What do you think the verdict means regarding Finland and Europe?
The verdict is very important for everyone’s right to free speech. I hope that this ruling will help prevent others from having to go through the same ordeal and that people would not be afraid of expressing their faith and conviction in public.
This court process and the decision are historical with regard to freedom of speech and religion.
The court has had to for the first time to take a stand on whether it is legal or not to cite the Bible and to agree with it. Although this is the ruling of the court of first instance, and the importance of the ruling is therefore not as heavy as a ruling of higher courts, I hope the positive outcome encourages people to use their foundational freedoms.
Do you think the strong international support played a role in getting this outcome?
The Finnish court is very independent so I believe it has made this ruling without any influence from the outside. The judges have had to weigh the relations between the foundational rights and the Finnish criminal law and the interrelationship between different basic freedoms.
I myself have appreciated and been extremely grateful for the huge international support and it has encouraged me a lot during these years.
I have received thousands of supporting messages through different channels. Still, every day, I get messages from many countries about how people are praying for me and Finland. I am very thankful for it.
Will you continue to express your biblical beliefs openly and on social media?
Yes, I will, and I encourage others to do so as well. I had hoped that the prosecutor would have settled for this ruling, but yesterday afternoon I heard that the prosecutors will possibly appeal to the Court of Appeal. I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion in all necessary courts, also in the European court of human rights.
I will never back down from speaking about the Gospel in public.