Finns' question of faith for Rehn

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

Finland's Defence Minister, Elisabeth Rehn, making a strong bid for the country's presidency, has run into trouble over her controversial view questioning whether Jesus existed, Reuter reports from Helsinki. A letter signed by a curate and a theological worker in the family magazine Kotimaa earlier this month accused her of denying the existence of Jesus at a public event last November. But an official at Ms Rehn's campaign office said she had been misquoted.

Ms Rehn, who is tipped to beat the Social Democrat Martti Ahtisaari in the second round of presidential elections next month, runs the risk of losing support through her views in a strongly Lutheran country where some 90 per cent of the people are registered Christians.