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Christian family to challenge Norway's child welfare agency in court

by Eno Adeogun

The Bodnariu family case is currently one of 26 cases at the European Court of Human Rights where Barnevernet is under investigation for taking children from parents.

The family were initially told that their children, including a three-month-old baby at the time, were taken in 2015 due to allegations of corporal punishment, which is illegal in Norway.


However, an investigation revealed the children were removed as a result of officials believing the children were being "indoctrinated' by their parents" Christian beliefs.

Barnevernet returned the children following international pressure and protests.

The whole family left Norway once they were reunited.

In December 2016, the family filed their case to the European Court of Human Rights claiming their right to a private family life had been violated.

Robert Clarke, director of European Advocacy for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF International) said in a statement: "Recent years have seen an increasing number of cases of overreach by the Norwegian state into family life, with numerous cases coming before the European Court of Human Rights.

"No family should be put through such an ordeal, especially not at the hands of the state. We are encouraged by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to hear this case."

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