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Pastor Convicted with Criminal Discrimination

Pastor fined for refusing to lead service with a woman.
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A Finnish district court prosecutor today convicted a pastor with criminal discrimination for refusing to work with a female pastor. Two other church leaders were also fined for not preventing the violation.

The pastor was fined the equivalent of 20 days of his salary, according to a Finnish news report. Finland's laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace or in public based on factors like sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation. Pastors within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the country's state church, disagree on whether women should serve as pastors. However, this is the first time that a church disagreement was brought before law enforcement. Pastor Ari Norro and the two church members were tried November 16 and convicted today.

Johan Candelin, director of World Evangelical Alliance's Religious Liberty Commission and Finland resident, said it is unclear whether the pastor will attempt to bring the case to a higher court. Candelin said the fine is equivalent to the ...

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