American Christian Pastor Andrew Brunson has FINALLY been released by Turkish authorities after spending 21 months in prison in that oppressive Muslim country.
Brunson, of North Carolina, was imprisoned in 2016 for the supposed crime of “Christianization,” Gateway Pundit noted today.
Jay Sekulow and his American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) have been working overtime to get the Trump administration to put pressure on our Turkish “ally.”
The ACLJ was jubilant:
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 President has played a critical role in securing the freedom of Pastor Andrew. We have worked closely with the President on this matter and are grateful for his efforts. We look forward to the ultimate release of Pastor Andrew.
The ACLJ has been advocating for the protection of Christians and other religious minorities for years. The ACLJ also has been very active in working to bring an end to the persecution of Christians taking place in many parts of the world.
We will keep you updated as the situation progresses. Please continue to pray for Pastor Andrew and his family.
Trump was sensitive to the pastor’s plight. Last week the president tweeted that it was a “disgrace” that Turkey was keeping the minister in prison on such bogus charges.
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
The Turkish government also absurdly claimed that the pastor, who was running Resurrection Church in the western city of Izmir, was helping a failed coup that tried to topple the government.
According to NBC:
“I talked to his family and they were very happy,” the pastor’s lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt said, but added they felt “betrayed” after the court failed to release him earlier.
“He will not be able to leave the house except if he has an interview or hearing in the court. He will be free at home but he can’t do anything else.”
Halavurt also said Brunson was in good physical condition, despite the Turkish state news agency reporting that he was released on health grounds.
Brunson’s daughter Jacqueline Furnari told NBC News in April that he had started to gain back some of the 50 pounds he lost while in detention. “I’m not sure exactly why my dad was chosen,” she said at the time. “He’s a pawn in a political game between Turkey and the U.S.”
This is a joyous day, indeed.
We welcome long overdue news that Pastor Brunson has been moved from prison to house arrest in #Turkey, but it is not enough. We have seen no credible evidence against Mr. Brunson, and call on Turkish authorities to resolve his case immediately in a transparent and fair manner. pic.twitter.com/So2A4hfinZ
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 25, 2018