An appeal for the release of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor imprisoned in Izmir, has been turned down.

On 9th December Andrew Brunson, the pastor of Izmir Resurrection Church, was brought before a court in Izmir for questioning. The court ordered that Andrew be imprisoned on the grounds that he is linked to a terrorist organisation. This accusation is based on the testimony of a “secret informant”.

Andrew, a US citizen, was originally arrested with his wife Norine on 7th October. They were told that they were to be deported as “a threat to national security”. Norine was subsequently released, but Andrew was held in an immigration detention facility until he was transferred to a prison in Aliaga, Izmir, after the court appearance.

On 29th December 2016 an appeal for Andrew’s release filed by his lawyer was rejected, but a further appeal can be made to a higher court.

Recently Andrew was allowed a family visit and he said that he had been allowed a New Testament. Previously, while in the immigration facility, Andrew had been denied access to a Bible. However, he has not been allowed to have other books in English. Whereas the Turkish prisoners are allowed family visits once a week, Andrew’s family must apply to the Ministry of Justice for each individual visit.

MAY BE CIRCULATED TO GENERAL MAILING LISTS AND OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS, AND QUOTED FROM FREELY IN REPORTS CITING “MIDDLE EAST CONCERN” AS THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.

Prayer points

Those close to Andrew Brunson request prayer that:

a. God will strengthen and encourage Andrew, speaking to him during his imprisonment, and comfort and protect his family

b. the accusations against Andrew will be clearly repudiated

c. family visits and telephone calls will not be obstructed

d. Andrew will soon be released from detention and allowed to return home

e. Christians in Turkey will not be intimidated by these and other recent pressures

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