In a written statement from the Executive Leader Sigmund T. Kristoffersen and Information Spokesperson Andreas Hegertun of the Norwegian Pentecostal Movement today, published in the liberal Christian newspaper Vårt Land, it is maintained that "Barnevernet" (Norway's official child protective services agency) "treats different religious groups in a just and good way. We have no grounds for saying that we are treated differently than others because of our faith".
Sigmund T. Kristoffersen and Andreas Hegertun in Vårt Land todayKristoffersen and Hegertun specifically state thay they do not have any opinion about the case regarding the Bodnariu family, in which all 5 children have been taken away from them and placed in foster homes. The Bodnariu´s are members of a Pentecostal church in western Norway.
The Pentecostal leaders write that "we find no theological grounds for using physical violence as punishment when children do something wrong. Quite the contrary", write the leaders of the Norwegian Pentecostal Movement.
Jan-Aage Torp-I am appalled, states Convenor Jan-Aage Torp of European Apostolic Leaders (EAL). -I am astonished that they would even make a statement at this point in time, except if it were a statement of support for the Bodnariu family.
-We cannot remain silent. Both Romania´s Pentecostal Union and Assemblies of God, together with the worldwide Pentecostal Movement, are rallying around the Bodnariu family in this time of crisis. This is not the time to wag our tails to score points with "Barnevernet". A family is devastated!
-I am also astonished that the Norwegian leaders take such a superficial look at "Barnevernet". Even legal experts in our nation have more "prophetic" perspective than segments of the Norwegian church in this hour!
Jan-Aage Torp was attacked severely by the same Norwegian Pentecostal leaders in 2008 when he had stated on NRK Radio (Norwegian Broadcasting Company) that "a light spanking" may be necessary in a total upbringing of children, even though Torp has never himself given his 6 (now grown-up) children spanking. This resulted in Torp leaving the Norwegian Pentecostal Movement when he learned from "Barneombudet" (the Children´s Ombudsman) that the Pentecostal leadership were assisting "Barneombudet" to take away from Torp´s church in Oslo the offical registration with the Governor as a Religious Community - because of the debate on "a light spanking"..
-I believe that the Norwegian Pentecostal Movement must come alongside the devastated family instead of being "neutral", says the Oslo-based Convenor of European Apostolic Leaders.