Norwegian Child welfare services(Barnevernet) have reportedly removed five Christian children from their parents’ home and placed them into foster care after the parents were accused of radicalizing and indoctrinating their children with Christianity.
According to the British-based Christian Institute, Norwegian child protection services, known as the Barnevernet, seized the three sons and two daughters of Ruth and Marius Bodnariu in mid-November.
Norway’s child welfare services, the Barnevernet, seized Marius and Ruth Bodnariu’s two daughters, two sons and subsequently their baby, Ezekiel.
Although the family wasn’t quite sure at the time why their children were being taken away from them, their lawyer discovered that the parents were being charged with Christian indoctrination.
This ordeal began on Nov. 16 when the Barnevernet(Norwegian Child welfare services) took the Bodnariu’s two daughters out of school without their parents knowledge and moved them to an undisclosed location. Officials then went to the family’s home, allegedly without documentation, and seized two of the sons and arrested Ruth, who took her baby son, Ezekiel, with her to the police station. Officials also went to Marius’ work and arrested him.
Over the next two weeks the parents were refused access to their older children and were told that they had integrated well into their separate foster homes and didn’t miss their parents.
The family’s lawyer was eventually able to secure a document clarifying the allegations against them, which included being ‘radical Christians who were indoctrinating their children’.
The lawyer pointed out that the Barnevernet had abused their power and broken Norwegian law by failing to provide documentation and separating a breastfeeding baby from its mother.
The family attended a hearing on Friday last week to appeal against the decision but the Barnevernet rejected their arguments.
The Facebook page reports that the couple will now be allowed to see Ezekiel twice a week for two hours at a time. Ruth will be allowed to see their younger boys once a week but they will be denied any contact with their daughters.
The update added that “while seeking God’s will”, the family and their legal team will make a decision concerning the next steps they will take.
Daniel, who is a pastor, explained that when investigators interrogated the girls about their home life, they girls admitted that they hide some things from their parents because they fear being pulled by the ear or spanked. Daniel added that the girls explicitly told investigators that although they might fear punishment, they do not fear their parents.
“There are many cases of abuse in [families], and of course these cases should be punished, but it is an enormous responsibility to be able to discern when the abuse truly exists and when it doesn’t, because by not discerning appropriately you can destroy a family,” Daniel’s post asserts. “From the legal documents received in Marius and Ruth’s case, it is clear that there are no signs of physical abuse; but that the (older) children stated that they were being punished.”
“Who is to blame?” Daniel asked. “The law, that offers full authority to some people to intervene in the family and act as they see fit, or some social workers, who in the name of the welfare of the child (and possibly other benefits) destroy the family, and the child implicitly?”
The parents appeared for a hearing last Friday in which their appeal against the Barnevernet’s actions were rejected. However, the Facebook page reports the couple will be granted visitation rights to Ezekiel twice per week for two hours at a time, while Ruth will be allowed to see her other sons once a week. The parents were denied contact with their daughters.
Daniel added that the principal cited how the parents, aunts, uncles and grandmother of the children believe that “God punishes sin.”
“does not believe them to be physically abused at home, she believes that the parents need ‘help’ and guidance from the Barnevernet into raising their children,” the English translation of Daniel’s post reads.