On 16th February leaders of the US Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees sent a letter* signed by 78 members of Congress to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey seeking the unconditional release of American pastor Andrew Brunson. Andrew has been unjustly detained in Turkey since October, and has been denied regular and appropriate access to legal counsel and US consular services.
Andrew, a US citizen and pastor of Resurrection Church in Izmir, Turkey, was originally arrested with his wife on 7th October. They were told that they were to be deported as “a threat to national security”. Andrew’s wife 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 9th December 2016 Andrew 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” and has not been supported by any evidence made available to Andrew’s lawyer.
* The signed letter can be read here: foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/02-15-17%20Congressional%20Letter%20to%20President%20Erdogan%20on%20Release%20of%20Andrew%20Brunson.pdf
MAY BE CIRCULATED TO GENERAL MAILING LISTS, OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS, AND QUOTED FROM FREELY IN REPORTS CITING “MIDDLE EAST CONCERN” AS THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.
Those close to Andrew Brunson request prayer that:
a. the appeal from Congressional leaders will be successful, and that President Erdogan will give the order for Andrew’s release and return to the US
b. God will strengthen and encourage Andrew, and comfort and protect his family
c. the accusations against Andrew will be clearly repudiated
d. Christians in Turkey will not be intimidated by these and other recent pressures