STOCKHOLM, Sweden - The Alliance Defense Fund sent its chief counsel to Sweden this week to provide legal expertise for the defense of a Swedish pastor who stood before Sweden's Supreme Court today on "hate crime" charges. The charges against the pastor, Ake Green, stem from a sermon he preached on the biblical view of homosexual behavior.
"The prosecutor general and the Swedish government are out to make an example of Pastor Green," said ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull following the hearing. "Pastor Green is the first individual charged and prosecuted under the law passed in 2003. It's drawn national attention. Homosexual activists in Sweden and throughout Europe are set on making an example of him."
Bull founded and then served for a number of years as director of a Europe-wide religious liberties legal organization based in Strasburg, France. In Sweden this week, he met with Green's trial counsel to discuss the hearing and also met with several international Christian human rights groups, such as CARE Trust and Christian Lawyers Fellowship in Great Britain, to generate additional support for Green.
In April, Bull met with Green in Geneva, Switzerland, and counseled him with regard to his rights and international law. A link to a transcript of Ake Green's sermon can be found at www.akegreen.org
"This case is perhaps the most striking example yet that the pretense of 'tolerance' is over. 'Tolerance' of the homosexual agenda means the silencing and punishment of those who disagree," Bull said.
"This case and ones like it are critical for freedom of religious expression in America, too," Bull explained. "If the ACLU and its radical activist allies have their way, the laws of Europe will soon be the laws of America. The U.S. Supreme Court has already taken note of international law in some of its decisions. ADF will continue to oppose attacks upon religious liberty here as well as overseas."
ADF coordinated and funded the filing of friend-of-the-court briefs for the case as well as the translation of trial transcripts into English. Numerous international groups have used these ADF transcripts to prepare their friend-of-the-court briefs on Green's behalf.
ADF is also involved in funding the defense of Stephen Boissoin, a Canadian pastor brought up on charges before the Alberta Human Rights Commission for a newspaper editorial he wrote that contained his views on homosexual behavior. ADF attorneys have coordinated his defense with Calgary-based ADF-allied attorney Gerald Chipeur.
ADF is a legal alliance defending America's first liberty--religious freedom--through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.