Perhaps this is just a bump in the road or a simple mistake that got lost in the bureaucracy of big government… but maybe it’s a sign of things to come.
In the fall, Marius and Ruth Bodnariu lost all five of their children over the course of two days when the government of Norway ripped the children from their loving home. The Bodnariu’s two daughters and three sons were seized by the governments’ Child Welfare Agency because the principal of their school said the parents had been “indoctrinating” the kids with their beliefs. Their Christian beliefs.
On Nov. 16, the Norwegian child welfare agency, called Barnevernet, removed the Bodnariu’s two daughters from school without their parents’ knowledge. Later that day, police arrived at the Bodnarius’ home and removed two of their three sons, leaving the 3-month-old baby with Ruth. Marius rushed home from work, and he and Ruth went to the police station to find out what was going on, but received no answers. The next day, police came again to the home and removed the baby, claiming Ruth’s display of tears at the police station the day before posed a danger to the child, according to a relative, Cristian Ionescu.
Two days later, Barnevernet officials informed the couple the children were “integrating well” into two separate foster homes. The Bodnarius were accused of “Christian radicalism and indoctrination.” One of the officials allegedly said to Ruth, “The kids don’t even miss you. What kind of parents are you?” ChurchMilitant.com reported.
On Dec. 2, Daniel Bodnariu posted on Facebook the couple had finally received documents detailing what led up to the removal of their children. The investigation started when the principal where the girls attend school notified Barnevernet she had concerns about how the girls were disciplined at home because the parents were “very Christian,” as was the extended family. She said the family had “a strong faith that God punishes sin” that “creates disability in children.” The principal noted although the girls were creative, intelligent, and showed no signs of physical abuse, she believed the parents needed “help and guidance” in raising their children.
Now thousands of their fellow Norwegians and others from all over the world are joining with the family to protest the gross overreach and destructive behavior being displayed by the Norwegian government.
It’s not just in Norway, either.
Just two years ago the Obama administration fought to deport the Romeike family back to Germany after they had fled Germany for religious persecution. The Romeike’s were initially granted asylum because the threat their family faced from the German government was real, but the Obama administration reversed its decision and was finally able to deport them in 2014. The family’s lawyer, Michael Farris, summed up the administration’s attitude towards religious freedom like this, “The Obama administration’s attitude toward religious freedom, particularly religious freedom for Christians, is shocking. I have little doubt that if this family had been of some other faith that the decision would have never been appealed in the first place. They would have let this family stay.”
Fortunately for the Romeike’s (and for freedom lovers everywhere), the family was granted a stay of deportation and given permission to stay in the USA indefinitely after the Supreme Court refused to hear their case.
But stories like this and the one in Norway are becoming commonplace, and one has to wonder when American Christians will begin to care. Will we wait until it’s too late and our own citizens begin to feel these pressures? Well, that time may already be here.