Christians Stage Worldwide Protests Against Norway for Seizing Children From Parents

The Bodnariu family. | (Photo: Facebook/Norway, Return the children to Bodnariu Family)

International protests are being planned throughout the month of January after the Norwegian government removed five children from their Christian parents under accusations of "religious indoctrination."

Protests are planned for the rest of January in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Austria, Romania, Spain, Ireland, India, Poland, and Australia, along with several other countries to speak out against the recent separation of five Christian children from their parents at the hands of government officials.

In November 2015, Norway's child welfare services, known as Barnevernet, removed five children, including three sons and two daughters, from parents Ruth and Marius Bodnariu, residents of Naustdal and members of the Pentecostal Church.

The five children were removed from their family and separated into two foster homes after their school's teacher and principal alerted the authorities that the children were being raised in a Christian household that taught "God punishes sin."

The parents were then accused by child services of practicing "Christian radicalism and indoctrination."

Hundreds of Romanian Pentecostals from all over the United States and Europe gathered at the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 8, 2016 to urge the Norwegian government to free the five children seized from the Bodnariu family by child protective services in November. | (Photo: The Christian Post/Samuel Smith)

Along with accusations of "indoctrination," the parents also faced accusations of physical abuse against their children, which they deny.

A petition and a Facebook page have been set up in support of the parents as they continue to appeal to have their family reunited again.

"They are just a normal Christian family trying to raise their children in the knowledge of God! There is no documented or otherwise abuse of any kind in this family," an iPetition that has gained 25,000 signatures since November reads.

A Facebook page created in support of the family also calls on the Norwegian government to return the children to their parents.

"We will keep the calm and the confidence that God will work and bring this family together again, and we will do everything that is depending on us, and we will not stop until they are reunited!" the Facebook post reads.

Previous protests held by the family's supporters have had thousands of attendees, The Christian Post reported last week.

Friends of the Bodnariu's have defended the Christian family, arguing that accusations of physical abuse are unfounded.

"We have a God and God is on our side because God created the family. The tradition of the family has been ordained by God. If you are going to fight us and fight the Bodnariu family, you also fight against God," Cristian Ionescu, pastor of the Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago and organizer of a recent protest in Washington, D.C. said.

"Lately they are trying to characterize it as an abuse case. It never started as such. The teacher said that we need to bridge the gap between us and this family because they have radical Christian principles and we know that right now, everything that was considered decent two decades ago is considered 'radical,'" Ionescu added.

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