Pastor Charged for Preaching on Homosexuality

Country: Sweden

Date of incident: June 20, 2003

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Morals

Area of case: Governmental



Pastor Ake Green charged with committing a "hate crime" for preaching a sermon on homosexuality in Borghold.

On June 20th, 2004 Swedish district court has sentenced Ake Green, a pastor belonging to the Pentecostal movement, to a month in prison, under a law against incitement, after he was found guilty of having offended homosexuals in a sermon, according to Ecumenical News International. He said in sermon: “Sexual abnormalities are a deep cancerous tumour in the entire society.”
Soren Andersson, the president of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights, said on hearing Green's jail sentence that religious freedom could never be used as a reason to offend people.
Under a rather new Swedish law, any person who demonstrates disrespect (Swedish: “missaktning”) for people’s sexual orientation may be sentenced up to four years in prison. Although the Bible is clear about God’s love to fallen mankind there are many passages in the Bible that warn about sodomy and its dangers to both individuals and to society at large. Those passages – although disagreeing with the depraved act of sodomy - may erroneously be interpreted by some as an expression of disrespect for the people who engage in such activity. 
Ake Green's website: www.akegreen.org

Discussion
We thank Angela Evenhuis of the Magenta Foundation for this clear statement, which unintendedly supports the free speech of Pastor Green: "Individuals must be able to freely and peacefully express their opinions; this is a fundamental aspect of the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression. Religious as well as non-religious groups must tolerate public statements about their activities, teachings and beliefs even if it is something that they do not want to hear. It is exactly these kind unwanted and controversial opinions that need to be protected, since generally accepted opinions can be uttered without trouble. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right that underpins many other freedoms.” (Angela Evenhuis, in “Blasphemous Matter”, Sept 08, Magenta Foundation, Amsterdam.)

Don Feder, JD, Media Consultant, stated during stated a hate crime symposium already in 1999: “...Hate crimes are an attempt at thought control... According to this mind-set, widely embraced by the left, dissent from the homosexual agenda generates antigay violence. Thus, refusal to accept the movement's dogma is itself a species of hate crime... Soon, instead of punishing expression that accompanies a crime, we'll be penalizing pure speech. Evangelicals, traditional Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Mormons -- any group that clings to Judeo-Christian morality and isn't willing to knuckle under -- will be a target."
Today, we see how right he was. We have collected several cases of penalized expression: insult (Germany, Lerle); malicious mail (GB, Atkinson); incitement and disrespect towards homosexuals (Sweden, Green), public insult aggreviated when critical of one’s sexual orientation (France, Vanneste).

Please note, that the case has been brought before the United Nations 61st Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR):
http://www.becketfund.org/index.php/article/386.html

Further information on the case:
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/sep/06091302.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/nov/05112902.html