“God is going to protect the Christian community in Syria and our trust is not in any powers—not in the regime, not in the US—no one else. We are trusting God Himself that He sees and He hears the cries of the Christians.”
(Syria)—As the US considers mounting a military response to the recent chemical weapon attack on Syrian civilians near Damascus, the Christian Believers in the Syria know that any action will prompt greater persecution against the Church.
CBN News spoke with a Syrian pastor who said that Syrian Christians are praying for God to intervene with peace.
“The Christians are living in fear right now,” noted the pastor, who wished to remain anonymous for his security.
The pastor explained to CBN, “Once NATO hits Syria, that means they’re going to weaken the structure and the rule of the system of Syria is going to be destroyed and that means what’s going to come next is the Sharia (Islamic) law, and the Sharia law is very much against the existence of Christianity in that part of the world.”
Although they are faced with great opposition and don’t know what will happen in the coming weeks; Syrian Believers are reportedly trusting in the Lord as their help.
“We know God has given promises,” the pastor told CBN News. “…God is going to protect the Christian community in Syria and our trust is not in any powers—not in the regime, not in the US—no one else. We are trusting God Himself that He sees and He hears the cries of the Christians.”
The pastor noted that it’s critical for fellow Believers in Jesus everywhere to pray for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in the Middle East, and likewise in the West.
“The right of parents to decide how children are educated is a human right of the highest order.” –Michael Farris, HSLDA
EDITOR’S NOTE: A couple points about this article; it sounds like this family was aware of the consequences of continuing to homeschool their children despite Germany‘s laws against it…they chose to go against that law. No doubt they were familiar with the plight of the Romeikes, who fled Germany for the US looking for asylum (which they’ve been denied) so they could homeschool here. This family, the Wunderlichs, knew what could happen, and what eventually did. That said, perhaps this account will help to bring awareness among Germans, and eventually, a possible change to the rules that outlaw homeschooling. One has to wonder what the government there is so afraid of when it comes to home education. –Aimee Herd, BCN.
(Purcellville, VA)—8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.
As the family quietly began their homeschool day, they were interrupted by a ring at the door. Dirk Wunderlich described the frightening turn of events.
“I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed,” he said. “They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it.
“The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn’t let me even make a phone call at first. It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion.”
Wunderlich said that his 14-year-old daughter Machsejah had to be forcibly taken out of the home.
“When I went outside, our neighbor was crying as she watched,” he said. “I turned around to see my daughter being escorted as if she were a criminal by two big policemen. They weren’t being nice at all. When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said, ‘It’s too late for that.’ What kind of government acts like this?”
After the children were taken away, the family was asked to attend a meeting with the senior social authority in charge at the scene. The Wunderlichs agreed to the meeting and were joined by their attorney, Andreas Vogt, who came as soon as he was notified, traveling hours by train to attend.
When the parents asked when they could seek a hearing to contest the seizure of their children, they were told they would have to wait until the regular judge returned from vacation. Vogt told Home School Legal Defense Association that the authorities had displayed little sympathy.
HSLDA obtained and translated the court documents that authorized this use of force to seize the children. The only legal grounds for removal were the family’s continuation of homeschooling their children. The papers contain no other allegations of abuse or neglect. Moreover, Germany has not even alleged educational neglect for failing to provide an adequate education.
Judge Koenig, a Darmstadt family court judge, signed the order authorizing the immediate seizure of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s children on August 28. Citing the parents’ failure to cooperate “with the authorities to send the children to school,” the judge also authorized the use of force “against the children” if necessary, reasoning that such force might be required because the children had “adopted the parents’ opinions” regarding homeschooling and that “no cooperation could be expected” from either the parents or the children.
HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said Germany has continued to show its disregard for the human right to homeschool. “Germany has grossly violated the rights of this family,” he said. “This latest act of seizing these four beautiful, innocent children is an outrageous act of a rogue nation.”
The right of parents to decide how children are educated is a human right of the highest order, said Farris.
“The United States Constitution is not alone in upholding the right of parents to decide how to educate their children,” Farris said. “Germany is a party to numerous human rights treaties that recognize the right of parents to provide an education distinct from the public schools so that children may be educated according to the parents’ religious convictions. Germany has simply not met its obligations under these treaties or as a liberal democracy. HSLDA and I will do whatever we can to help this family regain custody of their children and ensure that they are safe from this persecution. This case demonstrates conclusively why the Romeike asylum case is so important. Families in Germany need a safe place where they can educate their children in peace.”
The Wunderlich family has faced their share of problems in trying to homeschool their children. In October 2012, state youth officials were granted formal legal custody of the Wunderlich children by a German court based solely on the fact that the family was homeschooling, but the ruling was forestalled by Vogt. Over the past four years, HSLDA has reported on the Wunderlich family as they have moved from country to country in the European Union looking for a place to call home where they could freely homeschool their children. Although they found refuge from homeschool persecution, Mr. Wunderlich was unable to find work, and last year the family had to return to Germany. At their return, the children’s passports were seized to ensure they couldn’t flee the country again.
Following the raid, Dirk Wunderlich told Mike Donnelly, HSLDA Director for International Affairs, that he and his wife were devastated.
“These are broken people,” Donnelly said. “They said they felt like they were being ground into dust. They were shaken to their core and shocked by the event. But they also told me that they had followed their conscience and the dictates of their faith. Although they don’t have much faith in the German state, they have a lot of faith in God. They are an inspiring and courageous family.
“I’ve been fighting for German homeschool freedom for years,” he continued, “and I had hoped that things were changing in Germany since it has been some time since brutality of this magnitude has occurred. But I was wrong.”
Petra Wunderlich said her heart was shattered. “We are empty,” she said. “We need help. We are fighting but we need help.”
HSLDA has today begun a nationwide campaign to urge American homeschoolers to call the German embassy and its consular offices in the United States to protest this blatant violation of Germany’s human rights commitments.
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Visit us online at www.HSLDA.org. Click Here For More Information…
NEWS FROM THE HILL:
Yesterday the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised up its estimate of second quarter GDP from 1.7 percent to 2.5 percent. This is yet another reminder that the President’s focus on increasing America’s energy independence is not just a critical national security strategy, it is also part of an economic plan to create jobs, expand growth and cut the trade deficit.
Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal shares the President’s new goal in his Climate Action Plan: efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings set in the first and second terms combined will reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030
Yesterday, Vice President Biden swore in B. Todd Jones as the first permanent Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in seven years. As the Vice President said, “ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and they need a permanent director in order to do that and to do the job to the best of their ability.” The Vice President was joined by Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole.
EYES UPWARD FOR A SIGHT TO SEE!
(CREDIT: PHOTO AND ARTICLE EARTHSKY.COM)
U.S. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NEWS:
GSA to Eliminate Per Diem Allocation for Conferences
Today, we released the fiscal year (FY) 2014 travel per diem rates, which will take effect on October 1st, 2013. Each year, these rates are set by law for the Continental United States. The rates are based on local market costs and provide caps, or the maximum amounts, that can be reimbursed to federal employees on lodging and meals while on official travel. It also provides agencies with the policies and tools needed to reduce costs. This year, federal per diem rates are 5 percent below the average daily rate of the market.
City Pair Program Saves Billions for Federal Agencies
Air travel program leverages government’s buying power to save over $2 billion annually
August 16, 2013 SNIPPET
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. General Services Administration announced the award of its cost-saving air travel contracts for 2014, which will save taxpayers approximately $2.2 billion a year. Under GSA’s City Pair Program, airfare rates for the federal government’s official travel are pre-negotiated and offer up to 59 percent off of commercial airfare for the federal workforce. In addition to offering considerable discounts, the City Pair Program allows the federal government additional flexibility in how it books air travel.
SNIPPET: As part of our top to bottom review of GSA, we have been looking for savings in our government-wide travel programs. Each year, GSA sets the federal government’s travel reimbursement rates for lodging, meals, and incidentals for official government travel. For the first time in more than a decade, we decided to freeze the rates at current levels. This will help federal agencies save an estimated $20 million in avoided costs in Fiscal Year 2013. This is in line with President Obama’s Campaign to Cut Waste and the Administration’s directive to reduce travel spending by 30 percent.
21ST CENTURY GOVERNMENT Campaign to Cut Waste
President Obama and Vice President Biden launch the Campaign to Cut Waste, which will hunt down and eliminate misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the Federal Government.
YOUR TAX DOLLARS DEPICTED TO THE RIGHT! ENOUGH SAID!!!
DEMOCRACY AT IT’S BEST AND TRANSPARENCY AT WORK?
- Homeschoolers plead for help fighting ‘anti-parent’ law (wnd.com)
- Supremes being asked to rule on homeschool persecution (mobile.wnd.com)
- German Homeschooling Family Takes Fight Against Deportation to Supreme Court (educationviews.org)
- Obama’s DoJ targets individual rights: War on Home Schooling (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- HSLDA: Act Today to Stop Onerous DeKalb Truancy Ordinance (ilchristiannews.wordpress.com)