Becket Fund submits brief to Swedish Court in defense of Swedish pastor

.- An U.S.-based nonprofit organization, committed to protecting religious liberties, has taken its mission overseas.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty submitted an amicus brief yesterday with the Swedish Supreme Court, calling for the Court to reverse the conviction of a pastor prosecuted for teachings made from the pulpit.

In submitting the brief, The Becket Fund reaffirmed its commitment to protecting religious liberty around the world.

Pastor Ake Green was sentenced to one month in jail for a sermon he preached in 2003 on Biblical texts addressing homosexuality. The sermon was later printed in a local newspaper, and Green was prosecuted on the basis that his sermon offended Sweden's homosexual community.

The Becket Fund submitted the brief to inform the Gotta Supreme Court of Sweden's obligations to guarantee each of its citizens the religious liberty, freedom of expression, and equal protection of the laws secured by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sweden is a signatory.

"Article 18 (of the international law) provides that it is not the role of a government composed of men to declare what is orthodoxy by punishing those who publicly teach one religious view of what is right, even if that view may offend others," says the brief.

"Pastor Green's case is a wake-up call that we must be vigilant not to let that happen here," declared Becket Fund Director of Litigation Derek Gaubatz.

The Becket Fund, a nonpartisan, interfaith, public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions, is a Non- Governmental Organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

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