Last week, American Pastor Andrew Brunson was finally released from a Turkish prison where he was being held for 21 months. Pastor Andrew Brunson is now being allowed to return to his home where he will still remain under house arrest. Pastor Brunson was detained and arrested while in Turkey for the “crime” of spreading the gospel message.
Life Site news reveals that Brunson’s imprisonment has “Been a gruelling experience for the 50-year-old pastor. He was scooped up during a crackdown on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political opponents in the wake of an attempted coup. He maintains that the only reason for his jailing is that he is a Christian pastor. His case has garnered bipartisan sympathy from U.S. politicians.
In jail since Oct. 7, 2016, Brunson has lost 50 pounds and is now taking antidepressants.”
Pastor Brunson is a United States citizen from Black Mountain, North Carolina. The American Center for Law and Justice has been fighting for Pastor Brunson’s release from jail. They released a statement with the news of Pastor Brunson’s release eight days ago:
We have confirmed that the Turkish government has issued an order releasing Pastor Andrew from prison and allowing him to be returned to his home in Turkey. This is a critical first step that we believe will result in the freedom of Pastor Andrew so he can return to the United States and be reunited with his family.
The statement from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) also states that the President has played a key role in the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson. Life Site news reports that the ACLJ’s chief counsel Jay Sekulow stated he had talked multiple times with President Trump about securing the freedom of Pastor Andrew Brunson.
Trump tweeted last week calling Pastor Brunson’s detainment a “total disgrace.”
A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long. @RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
In his tweet, President Trump also called on the President of Turkey to do something about Pastor Andrew Brunson’s plight. Trump referred to Pastor Brunson as a “wonderful Christian husband & father.”
The ACLJ also stated in their news release that they have “launched a global campaign to generate awareness of Pastor Andrew’s plight and called on the U.S. State Department, as well as international organizations – including the United Nations as well as NATO member countries – to demand Turkey – a NATO member – release Pastor Andrew.”