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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37629
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Swedish pastor guilty of hate-speech?


For some the Rev Ake Green is a Christian martyr facing jail simply for preaching that homosexuality is a sin. For others he is an odious bigot who should be locked up.

The case of the 63-year-old Pentecostal pastor from southern Sweden, who describes homosexuality as a "cancerous tumour in society", has set the principles of freedom of speech and religion against this Scandinavian country's efforts to protect groups from persecution.

This week the case arrived in the appeal court, where Mr Green is trying to quash a month-long prison sentence he incurred for his remarks. The prosecutor wants to increase the sentence to six months.

Mr Green's problem started in summer 2003 when he preached to his small congregation on the Baltic island of Örland. Citing heavily from the Bible, he blamed homosexuals for causing Aids and said their sexual behaviour opened the door to paedophilia and bestiality.

His comments were too much for Kjell Yngvesson, the public prosecutor, who charged him under a law designed to stop agitation against groups on racial, ethnic or religious grounds. Sexual orientation was added in 2003 and Mr Green is the first person to be convicted under the new provisions.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/1/24 14:40Profile

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