As homeschooling families continue to flee Sweden in the face of escalating persecution, the global outcry over the controversial Swedish policies is growing louder. More than a few critics and reporters have even blasted the government’s actions and behavior as reminiscent of the former Soviet Union.
In recent days, a senior U.S. lawmaker and popular televangelist Pat Robertson have spoken about the situation as well. And Jews around the world are concerned about the fate of a Jewish homeschooling family being targeted in Sweden, too.
The Swedish government was already facing worldwide criticism from human rights groups for what opponents called its “kidnapping” of Domenic Johansson. The then-7-year-old homeschooler was abducted from an airplane bound for India by police after his parents refused to stop educating him at home — and that was in June of 2009, while homeschooling was still technically legal. The boy remains in state custody, completely isolated from his parents.
The ongoing tragedy drew prompt condemnation from around the world. Organizations like the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), Advocates International, the Network for Freedom in Education, the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, and many more all got involved. Media outlets from every corner of the globe picked up the story, too, shattering Sweden’s image as a “social utopia.”
And now, the pressure just got turned up another notch. After a tear-jerking report about the Johansson family’s plight by the Christian Broadcasting Network, popular television evangelist Pat Robertson — an American media icon with incalculable global influence — offered his comments: "It's so amazing — this family was leaving," he said. "They were on an airplane — on an airplane leaving — so what do the Swedes care whether they were homeschooling their kid? They were leaving the country!"
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Jonas Himmelstrand (photo)