Manitoba Mennonite parents one step closer to regaining custody of children

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Members of an old-order Mennonite community in Manitoba are one step closer to regaining custody of their children, but say they don’t understand why they were taken into care in the first place.

Eighteen children from the orthodox community were taken from their parents in June following allegations of child abuse.

The families say they were told at a court hearing today that they will have to wait until at least October before the children may return.

The families — who spoke for the first time outside court — say they miss their children and are worried the kids are losing touch with their beliefs.

One mother says her son celebrated his first birthday on Tuesday but she wasn’t allowed to see him.

Thirteen people in the community are facing assault charges that include allegations of children being struck with cattle prods, whips and leather straps.