BERLIN – Police say they have raided a Christian religious sect in southern Germany and taken 40 children from them on allegations they were being physically abused.
Bavarian police said Friday that the children of the so-called "Twelve Tribes" sect were taken into protective custody the day before as investigators look into allegations that they were being beaten and otherwise physically punished.
The sect said in a statement on its website that the children were of ages 1 ½ to 17 and that they would remain with foster parents at least until a court hearing next week. They say "there was no direct evidence against any individual provided."
Authorities say 28 of the children were found at one of the sect's locations in the town of Deinigen, and 12 others in Woernitz.