In Norway, if one of your children tells one lie there is a chance the police will arrive with a “Child Protection” agent, the children will be taken, and the entire family will be broken up indefinitely

January 15, 2020

American children Nikita (10), Elizabeth (7) and Brigita (11) were forcefully removed from their loving parents Natalya Shutakova and Zygys Aleksandavicius on May, 20th 2019. The evil will of the Barnevernet (Norway’s “Child Welfare Service”) has been accomplished. The children are now split between three different foster parents.

My understanding is that Brigita complained about her parents at school. She was unhappy about a disagreement she had with her parents. The authorities were contacted and the children were removed from their parents. Since the incident, Brigita has stated that she lied because she was upset with her parents. Her admission is not good enough to make a difference in Norway. She and her siblings are indefinitely separated from their parents and each other except for a few visits of a few hours each year.

“There was no court proceeding, no investigation, no due process, or assistance given to the family prior to the taking of the children. The children desperately want to come home but the Norwegian authorities won’t release them. Their main concern is the family is perceived to have not a good enough routine. No violence, no abuse, no drugs, just a subjective assessment that the family didn’t reach the standard expected of them.”

This is all standard procedure in Norway.

A fairly recent article asks: “Should your kid be taken away if they don’t like fish-balls? Norway says so” (Click on this title to see the article.)
The article starts with this family’s story and provides additional details of the horrific problem in Norway.
The article also references Marianne Skanland’s (a linguistics professor who has appeared in a few cases as a child language expert) compiled list of 71 reasons that child welfare services have used to make its case. (Click here to see it.)
I believe Marianne to be one of the best educated Norwegians on this subject. I’ve been fortunate to have her comment here from time to time. Here is one grouping of Marianne’s comments which have been translated into English on her website. (Click Here)

Nothing has changed in Norway. Worldwide protests against such behavior have made a difference in only one case that I’m aware of. Foreign government complaints have gone unheeded and some foreign governments haven’t done enough to address the problem. (The U.S. is one of these.) Reprimands of human rights violations at the European Court of Human Rights have been hopeful but have caused no real positive change within the country. The hope is that the number of cases being presented to the ECHR will eventually cause Norwegian officials to see the tragic error of their ways and force them to create an entirely new system built on common sense child rearing instead of “psycho-babble” (as Marianne would call it.)

I have hope for Norway because I know that prayer is powerful. I have hope for Norway because of some of the wonderful people I’ve met through my advocacy.

Chris Reimers


The Strasbourg Offensive…December 7th, 2019

December 3, 2019


Tor Åge Berglid is a man on a mission with a team of other like-minded people making protests all over the world. He is a Norwegian who has been very active in the attempt to publicize the horrible actions of his country’s “Child Protection Service.” Called the Barnevernet, the Norwegian CPS is government funded (like those of most countries), and it can be very cruel. It is not unusual for the Barnevernet to steal children from their parents in Norway.

Tor’s main goal is to unite people and he believes that “the focus is to lift other people up and tell them that their voices are important, to join into this question about what constitutes family life. Is God’s idea of family life better than the state’s attempt to do a better job?”

Recently, Tor and others represented those who are sick and tired of families being destroyed by the Barnevernet. In a national T.V. debate, he went head to head with the Norwegian Minister for Children and two other “important” Norwegian officials. Many, including me, were pleased with his effort.
Here is a short clip in Norwegian where one can get a sense of Tor’s passion:

Unfortunately, too many people in Norway are afraid to speak out. The percentage of those unaware of the problem is hard to figure since the government propaganda machine constantly spews out words of wonder about its child care system among other things. Advertisements encouraging people to become foster parents make the job look easy and lucrative. The propaganda drowns out the voices attempting to share the reality of the situation.

After having the recent privilege of speaking to and messaging Tor, I informed him that I would do my best to share my views on these developments as a Christian. John 1:5 states: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” In this verse, the light is referring to Jesus Christ. According to the Bible (the book of Acts) “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Knowing these truths, and that Christianity once held great influence in Norway, it is sad to “hear” mostly silence from “Christian” leaders and pastors in response to such tragic human rights offences.

God is a righteous entity who loves his creation. He is an advocate for the helpless and hurting. One day, all the cruelty that man has dished out will be exposed. Those who have asked for forgiveness will have been forgiven. Those who “did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind..” (Romans 1:28)

Tor’s statement is evidence that there are people in Norway who know what is happening and still care. They want transparency. I am in contact with others like him. They are still in the fight. They have not given up in spite of the fact that the current against them is strong.

Norway’s recent record at the The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR or ECtHR) is not good. They have been spanked more than once for human rights violations. More cases are currently pending at the court in Strasbourg, France.

What is Norway’s response? It appears that a new batch of laws dealing with “the Welfare of Children” is being worked on. My current understanding (from what I believe to be very good sources) is that the new laws will only make things worse.

I have come to the same conclusion as Steven Bennett, the British writer who published “Stolen Childhood: The truth about Norway’s child welfare system.” Steven, a Christian, believes that the system needs to be completely dismantled and restarted with new founding principles that really stand for the rights of every child.

See book description HERE.

It can be argued that the first institution created by God was the family. Norway, though a recent focus for very good reason, is a reflection of what is happening to the family in much of the world. It appears that evil forces are out to destroy that which God has created. One need look no further than recent laws passed by the Supreme Court of the country where this blog originates, America. The family has been redefined to mean just about whatever someone wants it to be. Sadly, this problem is increasing throughout Europe and the current beachhead there is now in Strasbourg, France at the EHRC, where the cases brought forward will test humanity in the consideration of how much power the state should have in family life.

I agree with Tor and Gro Hillestad Thune (who wrote the forward to Steven Bennett’s book) that the state should let the parents do the parenting unless intervention is absolutely necessary, and even then with caution.

I admire people who are willing to stand up for those suffering at the hands of those with unbridled power. May God bless Tor and those like him who have invested in the lives of families.

Please pray for those who are involved in organizing and raising awareness that the family is in crisis in much of the world. You may not be able to make it to an event but your prayers can be very powerful. We saw evidence of that in the Worldwide protests that took place in 2016.

“…let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)

Chris Reimers

This video is only the tip of the iceberg:


What is the Barnevernet?

January 18, 2018

NOTE: 2 OF THE 3 EXPERTS SPEAK IN ENGLISH, THE FIRST IN NORWEGIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

For the past couple of years, this blog has been involved in helping bring awareness to an evil system of “Child Protection Services” in Norway called the Barnevernet.

Sadly, many of the intellectuals in Norway are silent. More difficult to believe, the vast majority of the Christians and Christian leaders are silent. Since these two say little, of course, the vast majority of the media does nothing. Here are a few highly educated Norwegians who understand well what is happening in their country and they are not afraid to talk about it. There is a similar problem in the U.S. but we still have due process for the most part. If parts of the U.S. CPS system ever becomes as much of an industry as the Barnevernet (and some might argue that certain offices already have), I hope a much better percentage of intellectuals come forward in the U.S. than we have seen in Norway.

Lastly, but happily, I am able to note that one of the people so involved in trying to help people see the truth has made more than several comments on this blog. Professor Marianne H. Skanland, featured in this short video, is as well aware of the problem as anyone. After hearing many people speak about the situation in Norway, I feel she has the best view of the situation that I have heard. I have learned a lot from her.

I wish the people of Norway the best. In the video, Marianne notes two positive things that have happened to help those affected cruelly by the Barnevernet. The first is the internet. I wholeheartedly agree with her. This issue is getting quite a good amount of attention online. The second is international protests that have put pressure on Norwegian leaders. Sadly, this has waned in the streets of other countries, but there has been a noticeable increase in social media activity. It has been slow to develop but more people are learning of this problem daily.

Marianne has always warned me that this is a worldwide problem, not just something happening in Norway. She has referred me to more than one good book on “psychology” in America. The book that I read was authored by an American where “the author exposes the misguided beliefs and shoddy practices used by most psychotherapists. He examines the pop psych beliefs and explores the debilitating effects they have on everyone.” (Quote from the Amazon ad) The Entire title of the book summarizes its point nicely: House of Cards, Psychology and Psychotherapy built on Myth.

Photo at Amazon Books

People in all nations need to be vigilant. Our children’s lives, thus our future, is at stake. Even if this wasn’t a “future” problem, we must be kind enough to treat our children with the dignity and understanding they deserve.

Chris Reimers


Breastfeeding not allowed? The case of Amy J.

December 21, 2017

Bjorn Korf and Amy Jakobsen
Photo by Jo Hoffman

Written by Björn Korf

Amy J. is an American citizen who lives in Norway. In July 2013 her worst nightmare began. Without any warning, the Norwegian Child Welfare Services known as ‘Barnevernet’ accompanied by police knocked at her door, saying that her 19-month-old son Tyler had to be taken to a hospital for an examination immediately.

What happened? In the weeks leading up to the taking of Tyler, the young mother was increasingly concerned about the growth curve of her 18-month-old son. Tyler did not yet want to move to more solid food but instead continued to prefer breastmilk. Tyler was Amy’s first child, so she lacked the experience to know that children can develop quite individually. But, being a concerned mother, Amy even took Tyler for medical check-ups three times a month in order to monitor the growth process very closely. Then, came the summer. Amy went on a vacation with Tyler to America for two weeks and visited friends and relatives.

But, as soon as they returned back to Norway, the child welfare service, together with the police came to her house, saying that Tyler must be examined immediately in a hospital. Amy found out later that someone had alerted the youth welfare office in order to maliciously harm her. Being completely overwhelmed by the situation Amy agreed to go to a hospital with them. Also, Kevin M., the Norwegian father of the child came along. At the hospital a doctor diagnosed Tyler as “slightly underweight.” The boy would have had to weigh 10 kg, the doctor said. But Tyler weighed only 9.6 kg, which is actually not a reason for a concern according to the weight charts. The doctor also criticized that Amy was still breastfeeding her son.

Instead of offering advice to improve the nursing, the employees of the child welfare office now wanted to intervene on the basis of the medical diagnosis and remove the child from the mother. This led to a verbal confrontation which the father filmed with his smartphone. It’s a scene that can now be found on Youtube. “When will I see my son again?” Asked Kevin M. “We cannot tell you that yet,” replied one of the employees of the child welfare office. Finally, Kevin was ejected from the hospital as the argument got louder and louder.

What followed next was like a scene from a Hollywood movie. Kevin went back to the hospital and put on a doctor’s outfit. In disguise, he was able to go to room where his little son Tyler was taken in the meantime. He took his son unnoticed, left the building in a hurry, and drove around the area aimlessly, knowing that these might be the last moments with his son. Finally, he was stopped by several police cars. One police officer on the roadside even threw a big stone at the car, which nearly hit his child.

Kevin was then detained for one night for attempted child abduction. He was released the next day, because a judge realized that Kevin was the biological father and he still had parental rights. However, little Tyler remained in the care of the Norwegian child welfare office. For the time being the parents still had the right to visit and occasionally see Tyler – in a police station behind double-locked doors. But, a year later the visitation rights were cancelled. The authorities saw a potential abduction risk as Amy is an American citizen and they didn’t want her to take Tyler to America. In the following court trials this was also the main argument for removing parental rights from both her and Kevin. On September 22, 2014, Amy saw her son for the last time. Up to now both she and Kevin don’t know where Tyler is and how he is doing.

In order to hide the child’s new whereabouts, the authorities changed Tyler’s name twice. At the age of four years old, Tyler already had three different names. And, why did this happen? The Norwegian Child Welfare Services stated that they acted only in the Child’s best interest. But, how can such traumatic experiences serve the best interests of a child at such a young age? Especially, in the first years of life, the love and affection of the biological mother are known to be of great importance for the healthy development of a child.

Meanwhile, Amy has gone through all legal options in Norway to get her son back. In the spring of 2016, the case was rejected by the Norwegian Supreme Court. But, Amy doesn’t want to give up. Through a Christian initiative in Vienna / Austria, Amy was able to get in contact with international lawyers. They looked at her case documents, discovered Human Rights violations and helped her to file the case to the European Court of Human Rights. Also, the Christian initiative in Vienna showed further interest in the case. They launched a campaign on Facebook in order to raise awareness for Amy. They challenged people to post a selfie of themselves holding a poster which stated, “Norway, return Tyler to Amy”.

It is still uncertain how the case of Amy J. will end up. Once again, a family in Norway was torn apart for no good reason. Once again, a child in Norway was sentenced to extreme traumatic experiences. And again, we are supposed to believe that it served the welfare of the child. After the many worldwide protests and media reports, the government in Norway has repeatedly stated that it wants to look more closely into their child care system. But, so far Norway clearly fails to implement anything.

– – – – – –

Written by Björn Korf

Björn comes originally from Germany. He is a radio station manager for a private Christian Radio broadcaster in Vienna / Austria. He is married to Hee-Jung from South Korea and they have two Children.

My comment: Amy’s is one of the three cases I am following in “Recent Accounts of Children Taken” at the top of this blog. Her story is bizarre yet, she is not unlike so many others in Norway.
I have known Bjorn for awhile now. I respect his continued efforts to help families like Amy’s.

CR


OSLO DEMONSTRATION AGAINST CHILD WELFARE VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND PROFESSIONALISM

August 15, 2017

Photo from Steven Bennett’s Facebook Page

This Saturday, a very important event will take place. Norwegians from all over Norway, including folks from other countries, will be protesting the evil deeds of a “Child Protection Service” gone horribly wrong in Norway.

Organizers are hoping for the biggest demonstration on this issue ever in Norway’s history. If recent social media is any indication, organizers will accomplish this goal.

Political Elections will be held in Norway in September and this event will be noticed. I am Facebook friends with more than one of the event speakers and I am requesting that anyone who reads this will pray that the event is a huge success.

I would like to thank my FB friend, Bjo Ern, for providing me with the following itinerary. May God bless those who are willing to speak up against the evils of a country-sponsored child kidnapping organization.

Chris Reimers

(If there are clips of this event in English, I will publish them here as they come in.)

PROGRAM (preliminary)

– 11.00 Start of promenade at “Tigeren”. Meet up on time
– 11.30 Arrival at the Parliament
– 12.00 Welcome by the arbitration committee

– 12.10 Rune Fardal: Damage due to traumatization, psychology of power.
– 12.20 Ken Joar
– 12.30 Oddvar Espegard: The research tells us enough.
– 12.40 Tor Åge Berglid: The fight for better child welfare and the road ahead.

12.50 SONG: Sky full of stars. (Link below)

– 13.00 Nina Søviknes: About family centers, mothers’ home
– 13.10 Jelena Gullick, About grandparents’ participation.
– 13.20
– 13.30 Inez Isabel Arnesen: Free legal aid, politician engagement

13.40 SONG: Let the children be set free (Link below)

– 13.50 Naci Akkøk
– 14.00 Marius Reikerås: Human rights (If he is in Norway at the time)
– 14.10 Tomáš Zdechovský (?)
– 14.20 Lill May Vestly: Love, biology and strong parental rights – new family policy and new family protection. Political Spokeswoman for the Party The Christians regarding family.

14.30 SONG:

– 14.40 Stian Hordjik
– 14.50
– 15.00

– 15.10 Termination by the organizers

ORGANIZATION:

Responsible for Transport / Rigging:
– Dariusz Cz Pakosz, Natalia Kozłowsk, Øyvind

Responsible for music systems / scene:
– May Lund

Responsible for Appeals:
– Rune Fardal

Responsible for media contact
– Tor Åge Berglid, Rune Fardal

Singer (Learn these until 19 August):

A sky full of stars

Let the children be set free

Update: Here is one of the speeches (if you have facebook) from Oslo:

<a href="http://https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffamiliekanalennorge%2Fvideos%2F693929500805377%2F&show_text=0&width=560“>Tor Age Berglid


Norwegian Officials Steal Another Baby From His Loving Parents

July 19, 2017

Photo from Steven Bennet’s Facebook page


By Steven Bennett

Norwegian couple, Sylvia (44) and Trond Rikard Ensby (40) thought that they would get some help when they stayed at a mother’s home in Norway, but instead, Norway’s Child Welfare System, barnevernet took away their precious baby boy, because he didn’t pass the baby IQ test.

The parents are a wonderful couple – AND ARE NOT criminals! There have a wonderful family around them as well, including Ruth, a heart broken grandmother who so dearly misses her only grandchild.

The court of appeal has now ruled that this mother and father will not see their precious baby boy again and their son has now been put up for adoption, without any of his relatives being considered.

There’s absolutely nothing in Sylvia’s history that says she had been diagnosed as mentally retarded. This is serious negligence in the system.

And, this is just one sick example that shows how Norway’s Child Welfare System, barnevernet is truly an evil, remorseless, oppressive, dysfunctional, child and family destroying system of terror!
Trond Rikard Ensby commented:

“Even though we were prepared, it was a shock to get the verdict, for us it is incomprehensible. The first few days after the sentence, I felt completely empty. The entire experience has been very tough, but we’ve been in it.”

Sylvia and Trond Rikard Ensby’s lawyer, Marie Sølverud is working on an appeal to the Supreme Court, and if necessary, they will proceed to the European Court of Human Rights. “We have nothing to lose and we must try all possibilities for our son’s sake.”

The couple’s lawyer, Marie Sølverud also states:
“It’s a very serious, sad and wrong judgment. The case will be appealed. I think it is hard to say anything about how the Supreme Court is going to deal with the matter. If it’s necessary, we will appeal to the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights).”

In the lawyer’s opinion, she strongly responded to the fact that the court did not take into account the reports of two expert psychologists, who believe the child should be returned to the parents.
Welcome to the Brave New World of Norway!
__________________________

My thoughts:

First, I would like to thank Steven Bennett for his unending battle to educate all of us about the evil Barnevernet (Norwegian Child Welfare Services). Steven is a Christian who lives in Austria and has become one of the best authorities on this subject outside of Norway.

Second, As events like this happen in Norway on a daily basis, I can’t say I’m surprised. Each new case, however, makes the Norwegian situation more horrific. As Steven has noted, this is evil, plain and simple.

Third, I saw Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, standing behind President Trump at the recent G-20 summit. It was a little over a year ago that an online protest about the Barnevernet ended up on Ms. Solberg’s FB page. Hundreds of complaints were “voiced” and continued to pour in until the post was completely deleted. It was a conversation that got a bit heated but it should have been allowed to remain as many articulated their feelings about the NCWS. The Leaders of Norway know the problem. It remains to be seen if enough Norwegians and pressure from outside of Norway will be able to end these evil decisions.

Last, I wish my Norwegian friends to know that they are in my prayers. The two Norwegian situations that I have followed here, Ken’s and Amy’s, remain unresolved. Both stories are tragic and are representative of so many other sad stories coming out of a country that is supposed to be “one of the happiest places to live.” For those of you who followed Nadia and Caspian’s story here, they are doing very well and Caspian is thriving in the presence of his loving mother.

Chris Reimers

SOURCE (The story as it appears on Steven Bennett’s Facebook page)


A Christmas Wish

December 3, 2016

a-christmas-wish

by Ragna Heffermehl:

To Norway from Iraq. Here, her 5 children are taken away

“Forgive them, because they don’t know what they do.”

I peek into the hallway of the woman who lost all her kids to the Norwegian Child Protection Service, called “Barnevernet”, just before our National Day, 17th of May last year. Their shoes are still there, labels with their names ironed on the inside. “She probably can’t bear to remove them,” I’m thinking. Silently I ask myself how much too small those shoes will be, when – or if – the children are allowed to come home.

One after one, the children have stood alone in court, court case after court case, and asked to come home. This mother is the last trace of family they’ve got here, as she is a widow who has escaped from Iraq. All of the siblings, except two, were put in different locations. All the time since they were removed, they have cried and pled. They have offered Barnevernet money. They have drawn faces covered with tears. Barnevernet reports that the children are “crying, but mostly when they see their mother.”

And the mother loves her children. That is even confirmed by Barnevernet, and by the judges in court. However, they express doubt whether she is able to give her children “emotional support,” a professional term which is accepted without question by the judges, and which bends them towards their tragic conclusion: the mother is not fit. Nobody seems to think that “love” and “emotional support” are related in some way. Love is obviously not given much credit.

Norwegian Standard, abbreviated NS

There’s a new documentary about Barnevernet in the making, called Norwegian Standard. The abbreviation is NS – which was also the name that the Norwegian Nazi party during the war, “Nasjonal Samling”, went under. So I’m tempted to search for similarities between the Norwegian system and the Nazi regime. What I find is the lack of love. Love means nothing. Intellectual and professional constructions legitimize brutal violations by the bureaucrats, who are merely “doing their job.” Is it unpleasant to remove children from their families? Sure. At least until you get used to it.

“I understand that you miss your children,” the employee from Barnevernet purrs to the devastated mother, “but the children are very well taken care of. Two of them are living together in a huge, modern house. They are successful at school. Their new parents are not working, so they can take care of the children all the time.”

What a poor relief to the mother, that the new parents don’t need to work for a living, and that they have such a nice, big house.

Barnevernet seems to have a preference for people with high socio-economic status when it comes to choosing who are suited as parents for the children of the Norwegian state. This mother, like so many others, has been accused of being too poor.

Another alternative favoured by Barnevernet is to select foster parents for whom they create good economic conditions by paying them rather generously. To aspiring foster parents, Barnevernet is a most lucrative opportunity. In several cases, foster parents have been paid for their new “needs” such as an extra car, or renovation of their house, with the new child as leverage. They’re also granted the use of extra, temporary step-in foster parents, who take care of the child during holidays.

More tempting still is the offer of the equivalent of a full salary, so that one foster parent can stay home and ensure good care of the child.

The economic advantages of being a foster parent are heavily advertised by the state, regardless of the fact that it may attract people with other motives than to love a child like their own. The state is in desperate need of foster homes. On average, the state removes 5 children from their parents every day – in one of the smallest countries in the world.

The Norwegian professor Tove Stang-Dahl has done research on the history of Barnevernet. Her conclusion is this: “In an uninterrupted line from the end of the 18th century and right until this day, the explicit goal of Barnevernet has been to weaken the power and freedom of the family. The premise has been the same the whole time: to exert social control over the groups in society who are, at any point in time, seen as a threat against social order.”

The dark depths of our human mind

Last year, the mother had hoped to celebrate Christmas with her children. Barnevernet refused, and told her to deliver her gifts at their office, for professional distribution to each child. This Christmas, she has lost any hope of seeing her children. Barnevernet won’t give her more than what the judges said: 4 times a year, 1.5 hour each time, supervised. That means there has to be an observer from Barnevernet, who can’t leave the mother and child alone at any moment – not even in the bathroom. An interpreter is also there, to translate everything they say to each other.

To the victims, it may seem like Barnevernet, with its unlimited power to destroy the lives of individuals, experiences a subtle joy in doing exactly that. Unfortunately, I believe it’s a human trait. The famous Stanford experiment illustrates this. 21 mentally healthy persons were randomly given roles as “prisoners” or “guards,” and placed in a prison-like locale. The guards were instructed to “keep order,” nothing else – and psychologists were to observe what happened. The experiment was meant to last 2 weeks, but had to be stopped after 6 days, because of how the guards abused the prisoners, harassing them psychologically and forcing them to do humiliating things. By the end of the 6 days, a third of the guards were believed to have developed sadistic traits.

In our human minds, the same psychological mechanisms are latent. And they will flourish if the power structure allows them to.

Norwegian law on children – breeding ground for abuse

It heads the wrong way. Before, the law said that children should live with their biological parents, if possible. In 2012, this law was reformulated. Now, they have the “right” to grow up with people who can provide the best conditions materially and mentally. The children are to be “good and productive citizens, for the nation’s best,” the law says. This sentence reminds me of Nazi perfectionism. It can justify almost any abduction from parents with lower socio-economic status. We have to ask which values are the most important: the love of the parents, or the development of “productive citizens?”

A Christmas Wish

“Forgive them, for they don’t know what they do.”

I’m writing Christmas cards. Thinking of my friends, and my enemies, and of the ones whom it might be time to forgive. And I think of my new friend from abroad, who’s sticking to me as if clutching at a straw. Because I’m Norwegian, probably. But who am I against Barnevernet? The people there have developed a very thick shell. In a system where cruel decisions are a part of their everyday job, they will not bend to any appeal for empathy. They don’t listen to anybody – not even doctors, nurses, or psychologists who sometimes very openly disagree with their decisions to separate a family, based on their own observations of that family. I’m really nothing more than a straw in this field, a field ravaged by storms of prejudices and by a past most of us are ignorant of.

Can one really forgive, without the other party admitting and changing anything? It seems that for politicians and for Barnevernet it is difficult to admit that something has gone wrong. They seldom talk about the pain inflicted upon children and parents. I’ve rarely seen anything coming close to a real debate, without all the justifications for Barnevernet being brought up again and again. When in reality, no one disagrees that in some serious cases, children should be taken away and be given another home.

This is being used to overshadow all those children who maybe needed some help, but absolutely not of that kind. Now, they’re being traumatized for life – for absolutely no other good reason than to protect the one who made the wrong decision in the first place. What about all their calls and crying for their true home and parents, without anybody paying attention to it? The brutality of these acts – and the numbers of them – are rarely mentioned. Some lawyers have estimated those cases to represent around 80% of all the children being forcibly displaced.

So, I’m not ready to forgive Barnevernet yet. The snow that fell last year, is still falling down – and nothing seems to change things, as long as we have a trust-based system where the employees from Barnevernet can do what they want. They can command the police to take a child any time. Even if they make a wrong decision, it still can take months and years before the children are returned to their family – if ever.

Instead of forgiveness, I have a Christmas wish. I wish that people would open their eyes to what’s happening. The actions of the Norwegian Barnevernet will forever be remembered by the rest of the world, as our acts, my acts. Every Norwegian should understand how easily one can lose a child to the Norwegian state – and try to care a little bit about how they want this country to be.

This is my Christmas wish, so that I might regain some pride in my country. All the time since the 17th of May celebration last year, I have only been ashamed. During the celebration at our school, my daughter told me the news about the girl in her class being removed. I went to look for the mother in the crowd, while two girls talked in the microphone of how lucky we are in Norway. “Not many countries have as fair and humane laws as Norway,” they said. But I know of no country where the mother has less of a right to express love and to care for what comes from her own womb.

I have a life which the immigrant woman would have done anything to get: I’ll celebrate Christmas, happy to be with my children. As it is for any other parent, there have been incidents or errors that could have separated us forever, had they been judged by the wrong person.

But my red-coloured tablecloth, delicious food, my decorations and Christmas-red curtains can’t match the memory of the pale red shoes in the home of a woman who is not taking part in our celebration. The red shoes will always be lying there, in my consciousness, empty of children’s feet.

Ragna Heffermehl

Ragna Heffermehl

Editor commentary and request:

The true author of this true account is pictured here. I would like to thank Ragna Heffermehl for sharing this important story with the world. I would also like to thank Professor Marianne H. Skånland for supporting Ragna’s efforts to have this excellent piece shared with as many people as possible. When I think of the great gift of salvation that God has gifted to man this Christmas, I will think of how His Holy Spirit uses people. I will think of Norwegians like Ragna and Marianne.

I think that Professor Skånland has a wonderful thought: “If any of your readers would like to send a Christmas greeting to this Iraqi lady, they could send it to you and you could forward it to Ragna, who will print it out and give it to this mother.”

Is there a better gift than words of encouragement and offers of prayer for a mother who has had all of her children taken from her? I rarely ask for comments and I am making an exception in this post. Please comment here and share your thoughts with this mother who will, once again, be spending Christmas alone. I will make sure they get forwarded along.

Chris Reimers

The Norwegian version, slightly shorter, has been published in the Christian newspaper Norge IDAG

Thanks to my Romanian/American brother in Christ, Octavian Curpas, the English version has also been published in at least three other locations:

http://www.thearizonatelegraph.com/world/norway/christmas-wish-norway-iraq-5-children-taken-away/

http://www.mioritausa.news/social/christmas-wish-norway-iraq-5-children-taken-away/

https://dininimapentrutine.wordpress.com/2016/12/03/to-norway-from-iraq-here-her-5-children-are-taken-away/


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