ST THOMAS, ON, July 26, 2001 ( – The seven children forcibly removed from their home early this month because their parents refused to promise Children’s Aid workers that they would never spank them with a switch were allowed to return home today. A judge heard arguments from the lawyers of the parents and the Children’s Aid Society and agreed to a compromise. The agreement imposes eight conditions on the family including one that the parents will temporarily not spank their children. The court will meet again to continue the proceedings on Sept. 6th.

Before and during the proceedings, in addition to about forty members of the Church of God singing praises, about seventy demonstrators gathered in front of the courthouse holding signs against persecution, CAS abuse and Bill 6 and asking for the children to be returned. Warm cheers of congratulations and praises to God were heard when the parents emerged, immediately following the decision. Supporters included: the Family Coalition Party of Canada, Citizen Impact Canada, the Muslim Association of London, Campaign Life Coalition – London & Area, and Gar Knutson MP of Elgin -Middlesex-London.

Pastor Henry Hildebrandt, representing the Church of God, said that it is still not yet safe for the 100 women and children who fled Canada fearing similar treatment, but he prays that they will be able to come back soon. The pastor said the compromise was legitimate. “While it would be wrong to promise anything in the long term, it may be acceptable for a short period”, he said. The lawyers for the family praised those concerned members of the public who asked officials to allow the children to return home, saying that it was unusual for such proceedings.

For previous LifeSite coverage of the case see: