American pastor Andrew Brunson has been in prison for 18 months in Turkey, accused of ties to an American terrorist.
Pastor Brunson had been in Turkey for 20 years before his arrest, in which he was charged with plotting with terrorists for a coup, according to Fox News. He’s also been accused of helping a Kurdish rebel group which was tied to the coup, Bloomberg says.
The United States has been informed of the matter and is doing everything in its power to secure Pastor Andrew’s release.
According to Bloomberg, U.S. Embassy spokesman David Gainer said, “We have seen the stories. We are working to verify the information.”
Indictment hasn’t happened yet. First it needs to be approved by a court before prosecution can happen, Fox News reports.
Pastor Brunson denied he worked to overthrow the government.
This isn’t the only issue the United States would like to discuss with Turkey.
Hurriyet Daily News, a Turkish newspaper, reports, “Washington and Ankara have been at odds over a number of issues, including U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and Turkey’s demand for the extradition of Gülen.”
Pastor Brunson’s family is trying to help secure his release.
According to Bloomberg, Pastor Brunson’s daughter Jaqueline said to the United Nations Human Rights Council, “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.”
Be Heard, which advocates for the human rights of those who are persecuted, has a petition that people can sign to demand Pastor Brunson be freed from prison. So far over 455,000 have signed the petition.
Pray for Pastor Brunson to be released.
Pray for Pastor Brunson to have boldness.
Pray for Pastor Brunson’s family to have peace during this time.