Finland

Blasphemy restricted in lawDespite strong constitutional protections on freedom of religion or belief, Finland criminalizes blasphemy explicitly. In addition, the law on “disturbing worship” was used in a 2009 prosecution that was unrelated to any actual interruption of an ongoing act of worship or ritual.

Section 10 of the Criminal Code of Finland calls for imprisonment or a fine for any person who would “breach of the sanctity of religion”. The section criminalizes anyone who:

“(1) publicly blasphemes against God or, for the purpose of offending,  publicly defames or desecrates what is otherwise held to be sacred by a church or religious community, as referred to in the Act on the Freedom of Religion (267/1922)…”

The most recent successful prosecution under this section was that of right-wing politician Jussi Kristian Halla-aho, who was ordered to pay a fine of €330 under Section 10 of the Criminal Code re “Disturbing Worship”, after he posted remarks on his blog linking the Prophet Mohammed and Islam with paedophilia.