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Swedish Homeschoolers Cry for Help

Contact: Jeremiah Lorrig, Home School Legal Defense Association, 540-338-5600 

PURCELLVILLE, Va., Feb. 14, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Amidst increasing persecution in Sweden, beleaguered homeschool families look to the United States for help.

One homeschool family, the Himmelstrands, chose to homeschool their three children for years before they were denied permission from their municipality in 2008. Now the Himmelstrands face fines in excess of $26,000 (US).

Jonas Himmelstrand, president of the Swedish Association for Home Education, appealed yesterday to the supporters in the United States and around the world, "We ask our fellow home educators to email the Swedish authorities on a mass scale about the situation in Sweden.  We want to let Swedish officials know that their actions have drawn international attention.  Please write to the Swedish Embassy in your country on our behalf."

Although it is likely that there are fewer than 100 homeschoolers in the country of 9 million, Jonas says the persecution "is against all international conventions on human rights."

Homeschoolers in the United States have started to respond. The Homes School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) have filed a brief in a Swedish appellate court on behalf of the family. Michael Donnelly, HSLDA's Director of International Relations, explains the gravity of the Swedish, "Homeschooling is legal in the United States and in many other countries only after decades of tumultuous legislative and legal conflicts.  Swedish families are now fighting for their basic rights and are looking for support from other freedom lovers abroad. I am asking all of my fellow citizens to join me in supporting the Himmelstrands and other families in Sweden who want to homeschool."

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.  Visit us online at www.HSLDA.org