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Swedish Pastor's Trial For Hate Speech

Swedish Pastor's Trial For Hate Speech

by Alan Sears
President of ADF



Last week, I asked you to pray for Pastor Ake Green, the Swedish pastor facing imprisonment for preaching a sermon on Bible and homosexual behavior. Argued before the Swedish Supreme Court last Wednesday, November 9th, this case has serious ramifications worldwide.

As we told you, ADF sent chief counsel Benjamin Bull to Sweden to assist with last Wednesday's trial. Unlike U.S. Supreme Court oral argument, this was an actual trial where Pastor Green was called to testify and grilled by the prosecuting attorney.

Ben reports:

"Pastor Green's trial before the Swedish Supreme Court was one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen. It was surreal. The case should have been called Sweden v.The Bible. It was like a cross between George Orwell's 1984 and a Stalin Soviet show trial.

It was hard to believe that this was happening in a "developed" Western country. The entire case was televised live in Sweden and Parliament stopped to watch the proceedings.

The prosecutor made amazing arguments. He repeatedly mocked the Word of God. He ridiculed Biblical texts on homosexual behavior. The prosecutor asked Pastor Green several times what version of the Bible he was using. When Pastor Green politely replied that he used the New International Version, the prosecutor replied that Pastor Green was using a 'bad translation' and to 'get a new Bible' - one that does not question homosexual behavior. I sat in amazement as a government prosecutor was telling a minister to use another Bible translation. It was like a pastor telling the government that they need to use another law book. This was a case where the state was trying to dictate and reshape theology to fit its own agenda.

The prosecutor demanded that the court convict Pastor Green so he would be an example to deter other pastors from preaching what the Bible says about homosexual behavior. He did concede - quite amazingly - that it is still legal to publish such Bibles in Sweden (for now). The radical homosexual activists demand that Pastor Green be made an example as the first person to be prosecuted under the 'hate speech' law since it added 'sexual orientation' in 2003.

Throughout the trial, the justices were almost completely silent. Percy Bratt, Pastor Green's defense attorney - whom we helped prepare the day before at a moot court - did a fabulous job. He also mentioned the brief that ADF had filed and another we funded on behalf of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council - and the chief justice acknowledged that he had read the brief and found it to be helpful.

All people of faith need to continue to be in prayer for this decision - as three out of four people in Sweden (per a poll) believe that Pastor Green should be sent to prison for simply preaching the uncensored Gospel. If Pastor Green is convicted, it will open the floodgates - and the same thing will be happening in the United States and Canada - sooner than you think. It will be a precedent in international law that pastors can be targeted and prosecuted for engaging in 'hate crimes' and we will soon see this cited in American courts. This case must be won and it must be defended."

Please continue to be in prayer for Pastor Green and for this decision - which is expected in 3-4 weeks. As soon as we receive word of the outcome from the Swedish Supreme Court, we will let you know. Thank you for your prayers and your support, which have made it possible for ADF and its allies to play an important role in this extremely important case for the future of the Gospel.

To read more about the ACLU and its efforts to use international law as precedent in U.S. courts, go to www.acluvsamerica.com.

For more information on the danger of international law in American courts, along with chilling statements from several of the six sitting Supreme Court justices, the ACLU, and other radical activists, go to http://www.telladf.org/issues/religiousfreedom/internationallaw.aspx?cid=3234.

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