Christians Urged to Plead With Swedish Government to Return Abducted Homeschooled Boy

JohanssonSTOCKHOLM — Christians around the world are being asked to help plead for the release of an 11-year-old boy who was abducted by government officials because his parents chose to homeschool the child.

As previously reported, Domenic Johansson was seized by the Swedish government in 2009 as he and his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson, were boarding a plane to move to Annie’s homeland of India. He was only seven years old at the time, and social services state that they removed the child because he was being homeschooled by his parents.

The Johanssons were only allowed to see their son for one hour every five weeks. He was placed in foster care and forced to attend public school. The following year, the government cut off all parental visitations to Domenic.

In June 2012, a district court ruled that it could not ignore the fact that everyone who had testified about the Johansson’s care of Domenic proved that the family was doing just fine before the boy was removed from the home. However, the decision was later overturned on appeal and the Johanssons were again barred from seeing their son.

Since the ruling, the Johanssons have been struggling to face the reality of life without their son. The Virginia-based Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) states that the ordeal has been particularly difficult for Domenic’s mother.

“It is like a death sentence, except that Domenic is alive and just a few miles away from his mother,” stated HSLDA staff attorney Michael Donnely. “The strain on her is becoming unbearable. She is having increasingly frequent physical and mental breakdowns. I fear for her life.”

However, HSLDA says that changes in Sweden’s political representation have given the family a “glimmer of hope” in their efforts to regain custody of their son. Christer Johansson told the organization that he has been requesting an investigation into the way the case was handled out of his belief that officials may discover governmental misconduct or abuse of authority.

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“The local social welfare board has inflicted damage on our family and others,” he stated. “I am hopeful that some of our local politicians will look more closely into these abuses and take action to correct these injustices. We have been without our only son for so long it is incredibly difficult for us. Especially my wife, whose health has been severely damaged by this ordeal. We are so grateful for the thoughts, prayers and intervention of others from abroad.”

As the European Court of Human Rights has thus far ignored requests for intervention, the Johansson’s and HSLDA believe that public outcry to local officials is worth a try.

“The seizure of the child without a valid court order from a plane he was lawfully entitled to be on, the detention by the state in foster care with virtually zero contact with his family and finally the termination of parental rights is a clear violation of international human rights standards,” outlined founder HSLDA Michael Farris.

Christians are asked to help plead for Domenic’s return by contacting Christina Godarve, the head of the Gotland Social Services board, at [email protected] and Gotland Regional Council member Hanna Westeren at [email protected]


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  • Thom Dunbar III

    So many people don’t realize that this is happens when a country’s constitution isn’t based on rights given by God. God alone can set standards that are unmovable, as He is eternal and unchanging; standards set by humans will always be changeable, according to the flawed minds of the person or persons in charge. People of the US had better wake up, because our federal government is “throwing off the shackles” of our Constitution, and ruling by standards set by men’s flawed and evil minds. We will soon be facing the removal of our children from our homes, as the federal government disagrees with the raising of children according to Biblical standards.

  • Prachi

    I am not Christian, though I want Domenic to go back.

    I see 2 major flaws, which I wish to bring to attention of Christer:

    The arsenal you are using in this fight, which is not working listed below
    1. You were wronged in the past.
    To undo the wrong, domenic should be returned.

    This wont work because returning domenic does not undo the past. They will continue to justify how they are right at the present.

    2. Homeschooling rights
    Homeschooling was a part of the reason why they took him, but it is not the reason why they still hold him captive now.

    What you should stop doing:
    1. Defend Homeschooling reasons. That is hardly the reason.
    2. Present Annie’s condition as deteriorating.

    What you should keep doing:
    1. Alert more and diverse groups
    2. Seek active support from worldwide

    What you start doing
    1. Show favorable environment for Domenics return, healthy and happy families, strong and wide support group that ensures Domenic’s well being upon return. A reason to believe that the entire family will now remain healthy and happy and non-grieving.

    Domenic will be back. Be prepared
    Prachi
    I come from the same hometown as Annie, but I dont know her.

  • Patricia Rose Bethell

    This is abuse of the worst kind, and by a government. How they can justify this is a mystery, it is devastating for the child and for his parents, something he may never get over.