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The great efforts of the Trump administration finally made this possible after two years of bogus charges and imprisonment for this innocent pastor

Pastor Brunson Is Free


By —— Bio and Archives--October 12, 2018

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Andrew and Norine Brunson
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was wrongfully imprisoned by the Turkish government since October 7, 2016, has been released from Turkish house arrest and is free to travel due to the efforts of President Trump, including his administration and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback. Moreover, Sen. James Lankford visited Turkey in December 2017 to meet with their Ministry of Justice officials to advocate for the release of Pastor Brunson.

Pastor Brunson, an American citizen who is originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, has lived in Turkey for 23 years. He is a pastor for the Izmir Dirilis (Resurrection) Church, a small evangelical Presbyterian congregation in the city of Izmir. Brunson was indicted on bogus charges of “support of a terrorist organization” and “political or military espionage” and faced up to 35 years in prison.

Brunson filed an application to renew his residence visa in April 2016. On October 7, 2016, the local police department summoned him for what he assumed to be a routine meeting to discuss his visa renewal. However, he was taken into custody upon his arrival at the station and told he would be deported within 15 days. Brunson initially was held in a cell with 21 other inmates that was built to hold only eight prisoners. He was transferred in August 2017 to Kiriklar Prison where he was in a cell with two other men who have been accused of being members of the Gülen movement. He spent 24 hours a day in his cell, leaving for one hour weekly for visits. Sometimes he was allowed family visits and trips to the U.S. Embassy. In July, the Turkish government moved Brunson from prison to house arrest for health reasons.
                             
“We are grateful that Pastor Andrew Brunson is finally free,” Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The great efforts of the Trump administration finally made this possible after two years of bogus charges and imprisonment for this innocent pastor. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the Christian community in Turkey.”


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Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.


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