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									                                                                                                        December 2010

By Robin Phillips                         live in India, where the family was     READ: Malachi 4:6; Mark 9:42.
A Christian father is awaiting trial in   planning to move to.                    WRITE: See page 2.
Sweden for taking his son back from           But Swedish Social Services in      PRAY: Domenic loves his parents
Social Services.                          Domenic‘s home town of Gotland          and grandparents. He had a rich and
    Christer Johansson walked out of a    wanted to prevent the move from tak-    happy childhood and was well pro-
government centre with his son            ing place so that Domenic would be      vided for by his intelligent Christian
Domenic during one of the hour-long       forced to attend their school. The      parents. However, in the socialist na-
contact sessions they had been allowed    family received no preliminary warn-    tion of Sweden it is the State that is the
every five weeks since Domenic was        ing, nor had they been forbidden to     ultimate parent. Drunk with a sense of
removed from them                                                                               their own omnipotence,
in June 2009.                                                                                   Swedish Social Services
    Mr. Johansson                                                                               could not let the family
now awaits trial on                                                                             move to India for the
the charge of kidnap-                                                                           simple reason that they
ping his son. The                                                                               would no longer be able
trial is scheduled for                                                                          to force Domenic to at-
later this month. If                                                                            tend their schools.
he is convicted he                                                                              Currently both the Alli-
will remain in prison                                                                           ance Defense Fund
until around the time                                                                           (ADF) and the Home
Domenic is released                                                                             School Legal Defense
from foster care at                                                                             Association (HSLDA)
the age of 18.                                                                                  are examining what op-
    The       trouble                                                                           tions are available in in-
started on June 26,                                                                             ternational tribunals to
2009, when seven-                                                                               help reunite the family.
year old Domenic                                                                                However, short of a mira-
was seated in a com-                                                                            cle, it is unlikely that any-
mercial airliner with                                                                           thing can be done. So we
his parents awaiting departure of a       leave the country.                      must pray that God works a miracle.
flight to India.                              After Domenic‘s abduction, there        Pray for Domenic, that the Lord
    Though the family had received no     followed an agonizing 18 months lead-   would protect him, comfort him and
prior warning, Swedish authorities        ing up to the incident when Christer    preserve him against the day when he
boarded the plane just minutes before     Johansson decided to defy the social    will be reunited with his parents.
take-off, forcibly removing Domenic       services and bring Domenic home.            Pray for Domenic‘s mother, Annie,
from the custody of his parents and       That was on 22 November. Two days       who has been in the hospital several
placing him in foster care.               later, police descended on their home   times for treatment of depression and
    Domenic is a dual citizen of Swe-     and arrested Mr. Johansson and once     a heart condition since this ordeal be-
den and India. His mother‘s family all    again took Domenic into captivity.      gan.

            ISSUE       2     JOHANNSON
                                   SAGA          4        SECRET
                                                                        6 DEFRA PASSES
                                                                              THE BUCK            8         SUPPORT
                                                                                                            ASIA BIBI

                        14     WILLIAM OF
                                   PART II
                                                 16     CHURCH
                                                      UNDER FIRE
                                                                        18   CONCERNING
                                                                                A NATION          20        CONTACT
Christian Voice       December 2010                                                                                                 2

    Pray for Christer as he awaits trial, that the Lord would            His Excellency Nailn Surie
sustain him and be his strength. On 9 December, Gotland‘s                High Commission of India in London
courts once again rejected Christer‘s request to be defended             India House, Aldwych , LONDON WC2B 4NA
by Human Rights lawyer Tryggve Emstedt. Instead, the                     Phone: 020 7836 8484
court has assigned their own public defender, Attorney                   Fax: 020 7836 4331
Brambhat, to the case. The family has little confidence in               Email:
this lawyer, who is the same one that worked with them              Sign the petition to return Domenic to his parents at http://
since last year in trying to retrieve custody of Domenic. 
Pray that the Lord would enable Christer to get the legal                Send letters of encouragement to Christer in prison. He
representation that he needs.                                       is fluent in English. To do so, follow these instructions.
    It is uncertain when the Gotland courts will be issuing a            First, place your letter/postcard in an envelope. On that
formal charge against Christer, as they keep changing the           envelope write:
dates. The latest statement, as of writing this article, is that         To Christer Johansson, 690615-3231
formal charges will be brought against him on 20 Decem-
                                                                    Next, place this envelope into another envelope and on this
                                                                    outer envelope write this address:
WRITE: It is just possible that if enough international pres-            Kriminalvården
sure is brought to bear on the Swedish government, they                  Klient och säkerhetsenheten
will be forced to re-evaluate their unjust decision. We need             SE–601 80 Norrköping
as many people as possible to contact the Swedish Embassy                SWEDEN
to express their concern. Contact them at:                          Once received, Kriminalvården will send your letter to Got-
    Her Excellency Ms Nicola Clase                                  land and will see that it is delivered to Christer.
    Swedish Embassy in London,                                      To contact Annie, who is also fluent in English, write to
    11 Montagu Place                                                     Annie Johansson, c/o Rune Johansson
    London W1H 2AL                                                       Alva Gudings 363
    Phone: 020 7917 6400                                                 623 46 Hemse
    Fax: 020 7724 4174                                                   SWEDEN
    Email:,                   DONATE money through PayPal. All donations go di-                     rectly to the Johansson‘s fight for justice. Information about
Also, contact the High Commission of India in London to             how to donate can be found on the Friends of Domenic
ask if anything is being done about this on their side since        blog at This blog
Domenic is a citizen of India. Contact them at:                     also provides continual updates on the situation.

The Johannson‘s tragic saga began when Domenic was six and          and Annie began homeschooling Domenic.
his father, Christer Johannson, contacted the Swedish Ministry          Officials at the local school district were furious about this
of Education to inquire about home education. (In Sweden,           and called Mr. Johansson before a hearing of the Child and
seven is the age when compulsory education begins.)                 Education Department. During the hearing Mr. Johansson
    Because they were planning on relocating soon to India to       explained to the judge that the family was planning on relocat-
be with Annie‘s family, Christer thought it would be best to        ing to India in six weeks to be with Annie‘s family. It did not
homeschool Domenic during the interim. While Christians,            make sense to keep Domenic in the state school only to with-
the parents were not committed to homeschooling on ideo-            draw him shortly afterwards. The judge replied, ―Ok, fine‖
logical grounds and had planned on putting their son in public      and asked for the date of travel.
school once they reached India.                                         No court order was issued prohibiting the family from leav-
    Annie has two Masters Degrees and is highly qualified in        ing the country. Domenic is a dual citizen of Sweden and In-
the task of educating her son. Moreover, homeschooling was          dia and had every right to accompany his parents on the move.
not illegal in Sweden at the time.                                  Thus, Christer and Annie were shocked when the authorities
    When Mr. Johansson got in touch with the Swedish Minis-         boarded the airliner and forcibly abducted Domenic.
try of Education to inquire about home education, the Minis-            Social Services‘ only purpose in removing Domenic from
try told him to contact his local school principal in order to      the flight was to prevent him moving to India where he would
obtain the necessary curriculum. However, when Mr. Johann-          be outside the jurisdiction of the Swedish state schools. He
son contacted the principal of the nearest public school, the       was not truant from school at the time because it was summer
principal refused to provide the materials, saying ―You don‘t       break. As the Alliance Defence fund have pointed out in their
have the right to educate your son and I will be taking this fur-   application of appeal to the European Court of Human
ther.‖                                                              Rights:
    What the principal meant by ―taking it further‖ was that the        ―Domenic Johansson was removed from that plane only
family would be reported to the social services. Mr. Johansson      because social services believed it knew better than his parents
didn‘t know that at the time, but he did know that the Ministry     what was in Domenic‘s best interest; a belief steeped in dis-
of Education, Swedish law and Europe‘s Universal Declara-           crimination against their religious and philosophical beliefs
tion of Human Rights all allowed them to homeschool. So he          with regard to Domenic‘s upbringing and education…Swedish
3                                                                                            Christian Voice       December 2010

officials removed this boy from an international flight solely to     dren in foster care, and worried for his son‘s safety. In Daniel
prevent his parents from moving to another nation and from            Hammarberg‘s shocking exposé of the Swedish social services,
educating him in a manner that is lawful in India, in Sweden,         The Madhouse: A Critical Study of Swedish Society, Ham-
and in a majority of nations…‖                                        marberg gives alarming evidence of what happens to the men-
―PLEASE LET ME COME HOME‖                                             tal health of children like Domenic who have been taken away
For the Johansson family, that was just the beginning of their        from their parents. Some of the victims of the Swedish Social
troubles. After the plane incident, the immediate problem was         Services, such as 13 year old Elin, have even committed sui-
how to get Domenic back.                                              cide. Christer began to worry what might happen to Domenic
    Christer and Annie were only able to visit their son, now in      if he continued to think that his parents were rejecting him.
foster care, for one hour every five weeks.
    But they soon faced a new dilemma. The visits with their
son were allowed to continue but only on the condition that
they pretend to their son that they did not want him to come
home with them and were happy for him to be in foster care.
Social Services said they would lose visitation rights forever if
they did not keep up the pretence.
    During every visit there was always a social worker in the
room, listening to every word and taking notes.
    I interviewed a man who spoke to Christer last September              This put the parents in an agonizing dilemma. Should they
when this was going on. He said:                                      continue to lie to their son and destroy his faith in the only two
    ―In September Christer expressed his frustration to me that       human beings in this world that truly love him? Or should
social services was putting extreme pressure on him and his           they tell Domenic the truth – that they love him and want him
wife to pretend to Domenic that they don‘t want him back and          back?
that they are happy with his current custodial arrangement, in            After an excruciatingly difficult time of deliberation, Chris-
order to be allowed to have continued visitation.                     ter decided to tell his son the truth and suffer the conse-
    Christer said that the requirement to pretend to be happy         quences. So earlier this month during visitation, Domenic
with the situation was putting a great deal of additional mental      once again begged his father to take him home. This time,
and emotional stress on his family, beyond what you would             instead of lying, Christer said, ―ok, let‘s go.‖ The social work-
expect from the situation itself.‖                                    ers in Sweden are unarmed so there was nothing they could
                                                                      do to stop him from walking out of the room with Domenic.
                                                                          Domenic was able to spend a beautiful day and a half with
                                                                      his parents and grandparents, whom he had not seen in 18
                                                                      months. During this time Christer and Annie explained to
                                                                      Domenic the truth. They explained that they had not rejected
                                                                      him, that they loved him and had been fighting for his free-
                                                                      dom all this time. They told him that whatever happened they
                                                                      would always love him.
                                                                      ‗HELD HOSTAGE‘ BY THE GOVERNMENT
                                                                      The police wasted no time. When they found out where the
                                                                      family was, several squad cars descended upon the Johansson
                                                                      home. Armed police swept in, dragging Domenic out into the
                                                                      unseasonably frigid temperatures without even giving him an
                                                                      opportunity to get his jacket. Christer was thrown into jail,
                                                                      charged with kidnapping his own son. He faces up to 10 years
                                                                      in prison if he is convicted.
    Domenic in the plane watching as police board to put him into
    foster care. The Swedish Social Services‘ purpose in preventing       ―I have never in 20 years of practice seen a case more
     the family moving to India is because they wanted Domenic to     badly handled,‖ commented Harrold-Claaesson, a noted inter-
                   attend the state schools in Sweden                 national human rights lawyer and president of the Nordic
                                                                      Committee for Human Rights. She continued:
    After 18 months, the Johannsons finally exhausted all the             ―This family has been so traumatized that they may never
legal appeals available to them in the Swedish court system.          recover. The Swedish government has grossly violated this
They had hired one of the best human rights lawyers in                family‘s human rights, both under Swedish law and under the
Europe, but the judge dismissed her from the case. Last De-           European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Under the
cember, the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden re-                ECHR people have the right to leave their country. But in this
jected their final appeal on the grounds that by preventing the       case the social services took this poor little boy and prevented
family moving to India, the court was protecting Domenic‘s            him from leaving with his parents. He is being held a hostage—
―right to education.‖                                                 essentially kidnapped by the Swedish government. It is an ab-
    Meanwhile, it became increasingly difficult for Christer and      solute embarrassment for Sweden and for every person in-
Annie to keep lying to their son. Every time the visits oc-           volved in this case. Each person, from the social workers to
curred, Domenic would ask, ―please let me come home.‖ And             the judges, should be ashamed of their behaviour and their
every time the parents were forced to try to pretend that they        continuing callousness towards this family. They all must be
didn‘t want Domenic back.                                             brought to justice for their crimes against the Johansson fam-
    Christer knew what often happened to other Swedish chil-          ily.‖

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