Norwegian Christians: We Do Not Live In Catacombs, As Media Are Putting It

    The story of Norwegian child protection service took five children from the family of Romanian migrants because of their religious upbringing is gaining more coverage in Russian and English media. At the same time Norwegian media are more reluctant to cover the story and Norwegian Christians deny persecution on behalf of authorities. Krynica.info tried to analyze the situation.

    According to Christian Post,  the five children of Roman Pentecostals Ruth and Marius Bodnariu were seized by the Barnevernet, Norway’s child services agency, on Nov. 16 after the principal of the middle school their two oldest daughters attend cited concerns about the children’s religious upbringing and how the parents were teaching their kids that God punishes sin.

    Although the principal only asked the Barnevernet to offer the family counseling services and never requested that the children be removed from the home, the agency removed all five kids from their parents custody on the claim that the children were being physically abused.
    The children, including a nursing infant son, have now been placed in three separate foster homes while their parents have been given extremely limited visitation rights.

    While the agency hasn’t found medical or physical evidence showing the children have been abused, the agency is relying on testimony from the children.
    Although the agency said the evaluation of the parents would not be conducted until February, the family was also informed that the Barnevernet has already begun the process to have their children adopted by other families. The family’s lawyer has advised them to take their case to a superior court.
    At the same time Norwegian Christians deny any persecution on behalf of authorities caused by a religious upbringing of children. Norwegian media are virtually not covering the situation at all.
    “In Norway, Barnevernet (Guardian of Childen – a municipal public service to protect children in all Norwegian municipalities) does not take children from parents to stop them from getting a Christian upbringing. It may seem unneccessary to state something so obvious, but that picture of Norway is in fact being presented right now in international Christian media”, – stated Vebjørn Selbekk, the editor-in-chief of Norwegian Christian daily Dagen.

    He emphasizes that international media cite Bodnariu unqestioningly and without trying to contact Norwegian Christians to find out whether the situation in the country really resembles Soviet republics. “We know that the situation for Norwegian Christians is not on a catacomb level. Even if millions of Christians are now given that impression”, – Vebjørn Selbekk makes a conclusion.

    Krynica.info also asked the representative of Norwegian Christian democratic party . Thus, the party’s secretary in Rogaland Olav Eggebø Aanonsen mentioned that he has no reasons to mistrust Barnevernet. The KrF international secretary Andreas Haug Løland called the practice of media to quote only one party of the conflict irresponsible. He aslo mentioned that children in Norway are protected from all kinds of violence including disciplinary strokes.

    05.01.2016 Analytics| Tags: , ,