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Norwegian Christian Family Says Report of Parents Reunited With Children Is False

Norwegian Christian Family Says Report of Parents Reunited With Children Is False

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

The Christian family whose five children were seized by Norwegian child services is denying a recent report that they are going to be reunited with their children.

According to a post on the Facebook page associated with the Bodnariu family, a Romanian media report stated Tuesday that Ruth and Marius Bodnariu were going to be reunited with their children "very soon."

Although the parents have longed to be fully reunited with all of their children since they were removed from the home last November over what appears to be spanking allegations, the family could not confirm that such a claim is true.

"Even though we would love for that to happen, this is NOT legitimate and has no evidence behind it," the "extended" family said in a statement published on the official "Norway Return the children to Bodnariu Family" Facebook page.

"We would like to remind you all that any official news regarding Bodnariu family will first come from the official Facebook page," the statement added.

Although the Bodnariu family is still without their four oldest children (two boys, two girls), it was announced on the official Bodnariu family website on April 6 that a judge ruled their infant son, Ezekiel, was to be returned home.

Ruth and Marius Bodnariu pose with their baby son, Ezekiel, in this undated photo. | (Photo: BodnariuFamily.Org)

The parents have also been given the right to visit with their two oldest sons twice a week, but no update has been given on the status of the two daughters.

The case has gained international attention as they family's supporters claim there is religious bias behind the Barnevernet's decision to remove the children from the Romanian-Pentecostal family.

Considering one of the daughters allegedly told investigators that her parents discipline them by spanking, which is illegal in Norway, Pentecostal leaders in Norway argue that the government doesn't remove children on the basis of religion.

Some supporters, however, claim there is evidence in government documents leading up to the children's removal that suggests there was concern about the family's belief that "God punishes sin."

Since the Bodnariu children were taken last November, thousands have participated in protests in numerous cities throughout the world, calling on Norway to return the children to the family.

The most recent display of united public demonstration took place on April 16 with more than 30 protests taking place around the world. U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., spoke at a protest held in Phoenix.

According to The Arizona Republic, Franks suggested that what happened to the Bodnariu family happens to some families in Arizona, too, and stressed that there need to be regulations that hold child service agencies accountable.

Franks added that most parents are trying to do what is best for their children and asserted that removing children from their home is often an unnecessary option.

"So many of the people who are in (Arizona's) system are truly dedicated to doing the right thing on behalf of children," said Franks, who is the former director of the Arizona Governor's Office for Children. "Yet, I've also seen isolated instances where I don't believe that occurred."

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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