Does Germany’s Ban on Homeschooling Count as Religious Persecution?

Image: Does Germany’s Ban on Homeschooling Count as Religious Persecution?

Becket Fund’s Luke Goodrich discusses the Romeike Asylum Case at University of St. Thomas in Minnesota

Watch a recording of the debate on YouTube:

When: Friday, November 30, 2012, from 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Where: Terrence J. Murphy Institute at the University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue · St. Paul, Minnesota 55105 · USA
Room 235, School of Law

This event is free and open to the pubic. Please click here to register.

Uwe Romeike and his wife Hannelore seek political asylum in the U.S.  They claim they have been persecuted for their Christian beliefs which require homeschooling their children in Germany, where school attendance is compulsory.  When the Romeikes did not comply with repeated orders to send the children to school, police came to their home and forcefully took the children to school.  In January 2010, an immigration judge in Memphis, Tennessee granted the Romeikes political asylum.  Just a few weeks later,  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement formally appealed this ruling. The case is currently pending before the Board of Immigration Appeals.

When are restrictions on religious liberty in a foreign country grounds for asylum in the United States? Should the U.S. grant asylum to Uwe and Hannelore Romeike of Germany so they can homeschool their children?


Luke Goodrich is legal counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has submitted an amicus brief supporting the Romeike’s asylum claim. Luke will explain how the German ban on homeschooling restricts religious freedom and why it constitutes grounds for asylum under U.S. law.


David Abraham is a professor of  immigration and citizenship law at the University of Miami School of Law.


Sarah Brenes is an attorney with Advocates for Human Rights and a former Fellow with the St. Thomas School of Law Immigration Clinic.