A German mother is in prison as a result of resisting state
measures to force objectionable “sexual education” on her children. Her husband
has already served his 43-day sentence. The couple bring the number of
Christian parents imprisoned for this reason to 10.
Heinrich and Irene Wiens belong to the Baptist Church. Their
case has been taken up
by the United States based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) — a Christian legal
alliance defending religious liberty, sanctity of life, marriage, and the
In June 2006, the Wiens’ objected to their children’s
attendance at both a mandatory stage play and four school days of so-called
“sexual education” classes. Both parents believed the programs
contradicted their sincerely held religious beliefs, as they and their four
children are active in the Christian Baptist Church. The Wiens’ kept their
children at home during the programs and instead instructed them in their own
Christian values on sexuality. The parents were subsequently sentenced by
a lower court in June 2008 and both were fined a total of 2,340 Euros
(approximately $3,250 U.S.), which they refused to pay on legal and moral grounds.
Hence the prison sentences.
ADF filed an emergency appeal yesterday with the European
Court of Human Rights, calling for Mrs Wien’s immediate release. Legal counsel
Roger Kiska, based in the Slovak Republic, says the Wiens are well within their
rights under the European Convention of Human Rights and other laws.
ADF is representing four similar cases before the ECHR. “These
types of cases are crucial battles in the effort to keep bad decisions
concerning parental rights overseas from being adopted by American courts,”
says Mr Kiska.