Let’s use the opportunity of #GivingTuesday to remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive – be it today or at any other time of the year.
The reports about Andrew Brunson’s release are just another example of how little the media know about evangelical churches.
The US pastor and his wife Norine spoke on TV about the difficulties of the last two years. “As Christians, we have not the option not to forgive”.
The court sentenced Brunson to three years and one month in prison, but it chose to release him, based on his time already served. He and his wife havearrived this Saturday in United States.
The US pastor in Turkey leaves jail after 21 months. The court ruling on July 25 cites his health problems.
The court in Izmir has decided to keep the US Protestant in jail until the next hearing, in October.
The popularity of the powerful President is falling strongly. “None of the parties have mentioned religious freedom” in the campaign, says Turkish Protestant Pastor Ihsan Özbek.
A secret witness accused the US pastor in Izmir of supporting the Kurdish PKK movement. Three witnesses submitted by the defense were not allowed to testify.
Norine Brunson attended the hearing in Izmir on Monday. “The truth was spoken by Andrew and the Lord's name was glorified”.
“I have never done anything against Turkey. I want the truth to come out”, Andrew Brunson told the court in Izmir on Monday. His lawyer says “there is evidence that shows Brunson was detained due to his faith”.
Mass arrests, torture and arbitrary sackings are denounced by the United Nations. Pastor Andrew Brunson is one of the many imprisoned after the failed coup in 2016.
“I know the allegations against my father are absurd. He is not an armed terrorist trying to overthrow any government, my father is a peaceful pastor”, daugther Jacqueline Brunson told the United Nations in Geneva.
President Erdogan suggests he would be open to a prisoner exchange with the US. The pastor's wife shares a song he has written in prison: “My tears and pain I lift up as an offering”.
Pastor Andrew Brunson was serving in a church in Izmir when he was detained almost one year ago. Turkish Protestants said the accusations are “absurd”.
Rev. Andrew Brunson has been serving in Turkey for 23 years. After being detained for 64 days, he now faces “terrorism” charges and alleged links with the Fetullah Gulen movement.
Now the government can independently deport anyone it deems a threat to “public security” without a judicial order or review. The directive was issued over the weekend.