STRASBOURG — The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear the case of a Norwegian family whose children were seized in 2015 after the school principal called authorities to express concern over the manner in which the children were being raised by “radical Christians.”
“Parents have the right to direct the upbringing of their children. Norway intervened in the family life of the Bodnariu family by taking the five children into state care without any compelling reason. Removing children from their families should always be a last resort,” said Robert Clarke, director of European advocacy for Alliance Defending Freedom International (ADF), in a statement.
As previously reported, in 2015, Norway’s child welfare agency, Barnevernet, seized Marius and Ruth Bodnariu’s two daughters, two sons and then-baby Ezekiel after being informed of concerns about the home life and upbringing of the children.
The two eldest children were reportedly removed from school without their parents knowledge, and Barnevernet representatives soon also arrived with police at the Bodnariu home, where they seized the remaining children, minus the baby. The organization returned the following day and removed the infant as well when attempts by the Bodnarius to resolve the matter were not successful.
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.
“The process of confiscating the Bodnariu
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