ICC Note: In November of 2015, the Barnevenet (Norway’s child services program) seized five children, including an infant, from their parents following concerns from a school principal regarding the “religious upbringing” and Christian beliefs of the family. While the infant was returned to his parents in April, the family has been fighting to secure the return of the other four children. On June 3, it was announced that an agreement had been settled and the family would finally be reunited.
By Heather Clark
06/26/2016 Norway (Christian News Network) – Following a seven month battle, the Norwegian government has agreed to return the four remaining children who were seized from their parents last November after a school principal expressed concern over the children’s “religious upbringing.”
“Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The Bodnariu family will be reunited!” reads a statement released by spokesman Pastor Cristian Ionescu. “The Naustdal Municipality of Norway has come to terms with Marius and Ruth Bodnariu for the return home of all of their five children.”
As previously reported, in November, the Barnevernet seized Marius and Ruth Bodnariu’s two daughters, two sons and baby Ezekiel. The two eldest children were reportedly removed from school without their parents’ knowledge, and then Barnevernet representatives arrived with police at the Bodnariu home, where welfare services seized the remaining children, minus the baby.
The organization returned the following day and removed the infant as well after the family tried to resolve the matter after being arrested.
Marius Bodnariu’s brother, Daniel, who is a pastor, explained in an online statement that the matter began when the children’s principal contacted welfare services after expressing concerns over how they were being raised, including in regard to the family’s Christian beliefs.