The ruling party in the Central European nation of Slovakia is protesting the sentencing of a Swedish Pentecostal pastor to prison for offending homosexuals in a sermon.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Ake Green was sent to prison for a month under a law against incitement, according to Ecumenical News International.
Green had described homosexuality as “abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumor in the body of society” in a 2003 sermon.
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.
Slovakia’s Christian Democratic Movement, and one of the party’s officials, Interior Minister Vladim?r Palko, protested to the Swedish ambassador in Slovakia, Cecilia Julin, July 13, reported the Slovak Spectator newspaper.
After meeting with Palko, Julin said states have the right to hold different opinions regarding court verdicts issued in other states. She added, however, that, “Swedish law states that public addresses cannot be used to instigate hatred towards a certain group.”
At a press conference, Palko said Sweden’s actions are an example of how “a left-wing liberal ideology was trying to introduce tyranny and misuse the [European Union]” to quell freedom of expression, the paper reported.
“In Europe people are starting to be jailed for saying what they think,” Palko said.
Party chairman Pavol Hru?ovsk? added that the pastor’s prosecution was “a breach of human rights, the right to religious freedom, and the right of expression.”
But the Christian Democrats protest has been met with scorn by other Slovak parties, the Spectator said.
Jozef Ban? of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, said that the Christian Democrats’ “activities are damaging to Slovakia” and would make Slovaks look “like total idiots.”
Mari?n Vojtek, head of the Slovak homosexual-rights group Ganymedes, told the Spectator his group hoped the decision would stop people from speaking badly about homosexuals.
“If someone is making such statements publicly it should not go unnoticed because this is an incitement to hatred towards homosexuals,” he said. “The same would apply if the person would be talking about any group of people whether it’s Jews, black people, or anybody else.”