Harry Farley | JUNIOR STAFF WRITER | 21 April 2016
The Christian Bodnariu family are on the “right side of history” according to a pastor who acts as their spokesman after the removal of their children by Norwegian authorities sparked a global protest movement.
The evangelical family had their five children removed by Norway’s child protection service last November. Marius, a Romanian, and Ruth, a Norwegian, were suspected of parental child abuse and religious indoctrination after one of the daughters told her headteacher that they spanked the children as a disciplinary measure.
The Norwegian authorities have said they were acting in the best interests of the children.
Reuters | Several hundred gathered in central Oslo on April 16, 2016 in one of many protests at the state seizure of the five children of Christian couple Marius and Ruth Bodnariu.
Tens of thousands joined more than 50 protests around the world against the Norwegian protection authority, known as the Barnevernet, on April 16. Activists accused social workers of removing the children without justification.
Cristian Ionescu has acted as a spokesman for the family. In a post on Monday he said that history was on their side and the case had been a “catalyst that united” conservative Christians “in a common cause that inspired us to witness for the values that represent us”.
He continued: “When the Norwegian Minister Madame Horne said that the system will be firm and not crack under the international pressure, I couldn’t help but smirk… not in a condescending way, but – I confess – feeling pity for her ignorance.”
Earlier this month a judge ruled that Ezekial, the baby son of Marius and Ruth, should be reunited with his parents and that they should see their two older boys twice a week.
Ionescu wrote in a statement: “This ruling is a step in the judicial process and does NOT end the Bodnariu’s appeal or fight to regain full and unhindered custody of ALL of their FIVE children. The battle for the children continues!”