A Norwegian Christian family whose five children were seized by the state's child services due to fear that they were being indoctrinated with Christianity, are planning to hold various protests calling for the return of their children in a number of cities across the globe.
After the five children of the Bodnariu family were taken into custody by the Barnevernet (Norway's child protective services agency) on Nov. 16, based on a teacher's concerns about how the children are being raised by "radical" Christians who were "indoctrinating" their children, the family's appeal of the agency's decision to remove the children from the home was rejected on Nov. 27.
As the family's children are now placed in three separate foster homes, Marius and Ruth Bodnariu have gained support from thousands of people all over the world who agree that the state has no right to remove the children from the home, as over 36,600 individuals have now signed a petition calling on the government to free the children.
On a Facebook page established to raise awareness for the family's situation, the Bodnarius announced that supporters are planning to carry out peaceful protests outside of the Norwegian embassies in a number of Western nations that will attempt to put pressure on Norwegian diplomats to urge the Barnevernet to release the children.
"We would like to act in an organized, legal, and peaceful manner, as we wish to continue being a testimony for the world," a Facebook post states. "In this regard, I assure you, we are currently getting organized and WE will announce the place and the time of the picketing, alongside additional details, at the right moment."
The Facebook post also explains that supporters are working to secure the ability to protest in other major cities in the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands and even in Norway.
"We pray that God blesses our efforts!" the post states. "As the walls of Jericho were destroyed, we believe that God can destroy the strong walls behind which abuses are made in the name of a law; law that should protect children and not destroy families."
"We thank God and you, those who are fighting with us for the protection of families and children against abuse!"
On Thursday, supporters applied for a permit to protest outside the Norwegian Embassy in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, which they hope will take place next weekend.
"It was brought to our attention that there are individual initiatives taking place regarding a picketing at the Norwegian Embassy in Bucharest," the page explains. "I would like to clarify that the family has NOT yet set a date or a time for picketing, and ALL OTHER initiatives are independent of us, and beyond our control."
A protest has been scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. and has been organized by Pastor Cristian Ionescu. Supporters will gather outside the Norwegian Embassy in Washington from 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 8.
Additionally, the family is calling on international supporters to send handwritten Christmas cards to Norwegian diplomats at various embassies around the world that call on them to help reunite the parents with their children in time to celebrate Christmas.
"For Christmas this year, I pray that you help reunite a family residing in Norway," a mock Christmas card reads. "Five children (ages 3 months to 9 years old) are currently in three separate homes away from their parents while Christmas is fast approaching! We ask that you please look into the Bodnariu case and into the abuses made against them by the Barnevernet."