Thousands Protest Norwegian Embassies for Return of 5 Christian Children Seized by CPS

Bodnariu protest
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. |

Reikeras, who says he has dealt with a number of cases like the Bodnarius, explained that Norwegian child services has a history of breaking up families and estimated that about 70,000 children are now in the Barnevernet system. He added that the Norwegian government has been proven guilty four times by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, of violating due process and the "presumption of innocence."

"I have seen so many families, so we can put a picture on this, you see the same pattern — perfectly normal families get in trouble with the CPS system somehow, like the Bodnarius," Reikeras argued. "For me, I have a professional role in this so I have to be objective. I can see that in any case, the fundamental human rights values are being broken."

"When you have a system that keeps on doing these things, not only for this family but thousands of families, you have to stop asking yourself why we are breaking international law," Reikeras continued. "We have to start respecting international law. We are part of the human rights convention. We have committed to follow the human rights convention as well as the U.N articles [of human rights]. As long as we are not doing that, we are seeing cases like this. This is a very good example — a well educated family was taken without due process, without any fair trial."

The Barnevernet told the family on Dec. 15, about a month after the children were removed, that the agency would like to evaluate the Bodnariu parents to see what kind of people they are. However, the parents were told that the agency won't be able to conduct an evaluation until February.

Even though the evaluation won't take place until February, at the earliest, the family claims that the agency has already begun the adoption procedures for their children.

According to Ionescu, three of the Bodnariu children have birthdays in January, two of which, he says, are this week. He implored the Norwegian government to give the children the best birthday gift they can receive.

"The best gift you can give to these children are not more toys and interviews to separate them morally and spiritually from their families. The best gift they can give to these children is to reunite them with the people that love them the most in the world — Marius and Ruth Bodnariu," Ionescu stressed. "I know them personally, they are wonderful, wonderful people."

Ionescu warned that as more international protests are scheduled for the near future and more international awareness is raised about the Barnevernet, the reputation of the Norwegian government will start to be "tarnished."

"They may have not thought that the Bodnariu family is a family with so much support with so many friends that love them all over the world, but they are and they touched the wrong people," Ionescu contended. "There will come a time when it will hurt [Norway] more to keep the children because the image of Norway will be tarnished and if they are patriots and they love their country, they can't let the abuses continue."

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