Päivi Maria Räsänen (o.s. Kuvaja; s. 19. joulukuuta 1959 Sonkajärvi) on suomalainen kirjailija, lääkäri ja poliitikko. Hän on Suomen Kristillisdemokraattien puheenjohtaja, kansanedustaja sekä sisäasiainministeri. Räsänen on ollut eduskunnassa Hämeen vaalipiiristä vuoden 1995 vaaleista alkaen. Hän sai vuoden 2011 eduskuntavaaleissa 6995 ääntä.
Räsänen on ollut Riihimäen kaupunginvaltuutettu vuodesta 1993, kristillisdemokraattien puheenjohtaja vuodesta 2004 ja sisäasiainministeri vuodesta 2011.
- Sivistysvaliokunta 1995–1997, 1998–1999
- Sosiaali- ja terveysvaliokunta 1995–2003, 2007–2011
- Ulkoasiainvaliokunta 1999–2003, 2007–2011
- Tulevaisuusvaliokunta 2003–2007
- Työelämä- ja tasa-arvovaliokunta 2003–2007
- Lakivaliokunta 2004–2007
- Valtiovarainvaliokunta 2011
- Valitsijamiehet 1995–1999
- Pohjoismaiden neuvoston Suomen valtuuskunta 2007, 2011
- Ulkopoliittisen instituutin neuvottelukunta 2007–2011
- Parlamenttienvälinen liitto IPU, Suomen ryhmän johtokunta 2007–2011
- Sisäasiainministeri 2011–
Päivi Maria Räsänen, née Kuvaja (born December 19, 1959, in Sonkajärvi, Finland), is a Finnish politician. The chairwoman of the Christian Democrats since 2004, she is the current Minister of the Interior of Finland.
A physician by education, Räsänen got into politics in the early 1990s, running for parliament in 1991. She has been in the Riihimäki City Council since 1993, and in the Finnish Parliament since 1995. She was elected the chairperson of the Christian Democrats in October 2, 2004. Resulting from the government formation after the 2011 election, which led to the Christian Democrats joining the government, Räsänen was nominated by the party as the Minister of the Interior in the 72nd Finnish Cabinet led by Jyrki Katainen, and she was inaugurated along with the government on June 22, 2011.
Career and political positions
Räsänen has been characterized as a conservative. Homoilta, the guests of which debated on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights in general. The program was followed by an unprecedented exodus from the Evangelical Lutheran Church — in a few weeks, nearly 40,000 members left the Church through the website eroakirkosta.fi. Räsänen was on the show representing her party and herself as a Christian individual along with five other opponents of gay marriage, but the resignations were specifically attributed to her by the media in general and then-Minister of Culture and Sports Stefan Wallin. Räsänen thinks homosexual acts are a sin and she herself does not consider her views "specifically extreme".
On October 12, 2010, Räsänen was one of the participants on a live TV debate
When interviewed by Ylioppilaslehti on October 29, 2010, Räsänen said that she would favor Christians over Muslims when selecting asylum seekers to Finland due to Muslims', in her opinion, "difficulties to adjust to the Finnish culture". Her comments were condemned as "incomprehensible and merciless" by then-Minister of Migration and European Affairs Astrid Thors and then-Minister of Culture and Sports Stefan Wallin. Räsänen responded to the criticism, saying her comments were misinterpreted, since she did not consider religion as the main criterion for asylum seekers' admissions, but instead she wanted to highlight the benefits of refugees' integration through religious connections. In September 2012 Räsänen appointed a religiously conservative applicant, considered less qualified by the media, among six candidates to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which created considerable debate, especially as she had previously condemned political appointments of government officials.