Oslo 13 January 2016

Norwegian Pentecostalists: Our child protection is so good!

By Marianne Haslev Skånland

The Bodnariu case, in which five children in Norway have been taken from their parents, who are active Christians - Pentecostalists – has triggered several demonstrations abroad (the case, the demonstrations). What has caused reactions is primarily that the parents have been accused of raising the children in a "fundamentalist Christian" way. Charges of physical punishment of the children – spanking and holding in the ear – are brought. As usual, whatever the parents may have done looms large and no attention is given to the shocks and burdens heaped on the children by depriving them of their parents.

But the reactions in other countries have fortunately not, even in Christian circles, been limited to the religious aspect. Many people, many Christians too, are waking up to the realities of what a Western style child protection system does to all kinds of families, and are voicing a protest against fundamentals and against other cases than that of the Bodnarius as well.

Christians in Norway is another story. There are some who are truly independent and courageous, but they are few. By and large Christian groups are considerably concerned with presenting an unimpeccable front and keeping in step with official Norway. The Bodnariu case has now apparently been "considered" by the Norwegian Pentecostalist movement. This is what their publication
"Korsets Seier" (The Victory of the Cross) reports:

– Pinsevenner forfølges ikke av barnevernet (Pentecostalists are not persecuted by the CPS)
«Vi har ikke grunnlag for å tro at vi blir behandlet annerledes enn andre», skriver Lederrådet. (We do not have any reason to believe that we are treated differently from others, writes the Leadership Board/Group)
Korsets Seier, 13 January 2016

It boils down to Korsets Seier being content as long as Pentecostalists in Norway are not treated any worse than others when in the power of the child protection agency (CPS).

"… til den generelle situasjonen i Norge vil vi uttale vi opplever at norske myndigheter, inkludert barnevernet, behandler ulike religiøse grupper på en rettferdig og god måte." (… about the general situation in Norway we wish to express that we experience Norwegian authorities, the CPS included, to treat different religious groups in a just and good way.")

The leader Sigmund Kristoffersen:
"KRISTOFFERSENS OPPGJØR: «Jeg er forskrekket over mistenksomheten, frykten og feiltolkningene»." (KRISTOFFERSEN'S CONFRONTATION: 'I am shocked at the suspiciousness, the fear and the wrong interpretations'.)

So they are just as bad as the editorial staff in the Norwegian Christian newspapers Dagen and Vårt Land, in other words. Cf
Den kristne avisen Dagen, Vårt Land kaster seg inn i koret med kjent lovsang, Kommentar 1, Kommentar 2, Kommentar 3 (only in Norwegian version).


The way "Christians" in Norway act (or rather avoid to act) in relation to the CPS and to the victims of the CPS is no positive advertisement for a Christian view of life. But, it is just as well that they show it so clearly, so that families exposed to the CPS know that there is nothing much to hope for from these declared disciples of Christ here in our outpost in the north.

These self-declared custodians of the teaching of the spokesman for the Samaritans ought perhaps to look to a few foreigners who understand more than they do themselves. Not that everyone abroad understands that CPS abuse is a general system, something which can hit anyone. Not that every Christian abroad is interested in the fate of the families if they are not persecuted primarily for their faith. But some do understand. Here is a commentator to Jan Simonsen's article
in Prague Post recently:

"…  I am surprised that those leaders in your country do not understand the real situation.
    I've been at both meetings, the first one in Bucharest and the yesterday one in Washington DC, trying to raise the awareness for not only the case of Bodnariu family, but for the case of those "3 - 4 children" that "are taken from their parents" every day.
    I pray and look forward for a wake up in not only Norway but in other countries in the same situation as Norway is now.

Best regards/Met vriendelijke groeten/Sincere greetings/Mit freundlichen Grüßen/Cu stima,
Florian Peretz
Worldwide Romanian Christian Businessmen & Professionals Fellowship (WRCBF)- President
Asociatia Christian Businessmen and Professionals of Romania (ACBPR)- Founder and Honorary President"


Another comment, by Adina og Marcus Dumitru, Lima, Peru:

"Basicaly, the "information" that Norway's Ambassies are handing to foreing inquierers is just sweet lies, misdirections and propaganda. The issue is we have with you, NORWAY, is not what your law says, but what your CPS does, that is just wicked. NO STATE SHOULD HAVE DIRECT RESPONSANILITIES OF MINORS, BUT THROUGH THEIR PARENTS! HANDS OFF from ANY children, whatever the case!"