Monday, November 24, 2008

Parents Must Move From Alamo Church Compound To Regain Custody of Girls

As previously reported, in September after federal authorities raided the compound of Tony Alamo Ministries, Arkansas officials took six minor girls into temporary custody. According to yesterday's Arkansas Democrat Gazette, a hearing was held last Friday on the status of two of those girls. Miller County Circuit Judge Jim Hudson, following recommendations of the state Department of Human Services, ruled that the girls can be returned to their parents only if the parents move off property controlled by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. The family must also establish financial independence from the church. However, the parents can continue to attend church services. On Saturday, the judge said he would be willing to consider other plans proposed by the parents to protect the girls without moving. State authorities objected to the girls living in the same house with Alamo and several of his wives. Also the girls had not received childhood vaccinations, and were not being educated by state-certified teachers or in a registered home-school program.

Meanwhile, hearings are scheduled today in Miller County, Arkansas Circuit Court for 20 additional children who were removed last week from parents who attend the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. (Arkansas Online.)