by Kate Boyle
Homeschooling has been illegal in Germany since it was outlawed by Adolf Hitler in 1938. For that reason, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike came to America seeking religious and educational freedom for themselves and their family.
In 2006, the Romeike’s removed their children from German public schools with concern that the education was undermining their Christian values. “I don’t expect the school to teach about the Bible,” Mr. Romeike said, but “part of education should be character-building.” After accruing thousands of dollars in fines and risking jail time or the loss of their children, the Romeike family made the decision to come to the United States where they were confident their religious freedoms would be respected.
After initially being granted asylum, their chance at freedom started to dwindle year after year. In 2012, the Board of Immigration Appeals tossed the ruling that granted asylum and Attorney General Eric Holder claimed that the family had not been persecuted on religious grounds because not all Christians mandated homeschooling.
But the German Supreme Court itself has stated that the purpose of the homeschooling ban is to, “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.” That sounds like an attack on religious freedom.
Religious freedom, however, is not the Romeike’s only reason for fleeing Germany.
“We are being persecuted, as are many other home schooling families in Germany,” says Mr. Romeike. “Parents should have the right to choose the best education for their children. That’s what’s lacking in Germany. We don’t have freedom of education.”
In an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Todd Starnes, Michael Farris of the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) stated that he thinks the situation is part of the President’s effort to “crush” religious freedom in America.
“The Obama administration’s attitude toward religious freedom, particularly religious freedom for Christians is shocking. I have little doubt that if this family had been of some other faith that the decision would have never been appealed in the first place.”
The Romeike family appealed to the Supreme Court which recently stated they would not hear the case but ordered the Obama Administration to respond to the Romeike’s petition. The administration has been silent as the fate of a Christian family of eight hangs in the balance – until today. The Department of Homeland Security announced today that the Romeike’s have been granted “indefinite deferred status.” This gives the family a chance to permanently set down roots in the Land of the Free and practice their religion and education without fear of persecution.