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American Pastor Detained In Turkey For Preaching To Militants Says He Is Being Persecuted For His Faith

american pastor detained turkey preaching militants

American Pastor Detained In Turkey For Preaching To Kurdish Militants Says He Is Being Persecuted For His Faith

Turkish Court decided on Wednesday to keep Andrew Brunson, an American Pastor in jail, dashing hopes that he could be released during his trial on terrorism and spying charges.

This is a case that has deepened a rift with NATO ally Washington.

Brunson, a Christian Pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of helping the group that Ankara blames for the failed 2016 coup against President Tayyip Erdogan, as well as supporting outlawed PKK Kurdish militants.

U.S. envoy says it is disappointed by the Pastor’s continued detention in Turkey

Brunson, who denied the charges, faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.

“It is really hard to stay in jail and be separated from my wife and children,’’ Brunson, wearing a black suit and a white shirt, told the Court in Turkish.

“There is no concrete evidence against me. The disciples of Jesus suffered in his name, now it is my turn. I am an innocent man on all these charges. I reject them. I know why I am here. I am here to suffer in Jesus’s name.’’

President Donald Trump has called for his release and the U.S. Senate passed a bill in June including a measure that prohibits Turkey from buying F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets because of Brunson’s imprisonment and Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defence system.

The U.S. envoy to Turkey said he was “disappointed’’ by the ruling by the Court in the Aegean province of Izmir where Brunson had been living.

“Our government is deeply concerned about his status and the status of other American citizens and Turkish local employees of the U.S. diplomatic mission who have been detained under state of emergency rules,’’ Charge d’affaires Philip Kosnett told reporters outside the courtroom.

“We have great respect for both Turkey’s traditional role as a haven for people of faiths and Turkey’s legal traditions. We believe this case is out of step with these traditions,’’ he said.

Brunson was Pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church, serving a small Protestant congregation in Turkey’s third-largest city, south of the Aegean town of Aliaga where he is now on trial.

His lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt had raised hopes that he could be released as the prosecution witnesses finish testifying.

But Halavurt said on Wednesday that the prosecution has added the testimonies of two new anonymous witnesses to the case and that the court will hold its next hearing on October 12, to hear them and view new evidence.

Turkey’s lira weakened against the dollar immediately after the ruling, reflecting investor worries about tensions with the United States.

It was nearly half a per cent weaker on the day, at 4.8215 at 1234 GMT.

Brunson’s trial is one of several legal cases that have raised tensions between Washington and Ankara.

A U.S. judge sentenced a Turkish bank executive in May to 32 months in prison for helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions, while two locally employed U.S. consulate staff in Turkey has been detained.

The NATO allies are also at odds over U.S. policy in Syria, where Washington’s ally in the fight against Islamic State is a Kurdish militia Turkey says is an extension of the PKK, which has waged a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey.

The Turkish government says Brunson’s case will be decided by the courts.

But Erdogan has previously linked his fate to that of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Turkey blames for the coup attempt and whose extradition Ankara seeks.

Gulen has denied having any link to the failed coup, in which at least 250 people were killed.




  1. Josiah Jude

    July 18, 2018 at 8:49 PM

    God will deliver you from your oppressor. Just be prayerful

  2. Amanda

    July 18, 2018 at 11:21 PM

    Pastor, you have lots and lots of MAD people in the US that you could preach your religion to. The mass shooters, armed robbers, the bullies, your fellow christians catholic church defiling young boys, the politicians, the MS 16 gangs in Long Island, the KKK, your fellow white who are racists, and the list goes on.

    But you chose not to preach at home but went all the way to another country to show off so that you could claim credit for yourself that militant accept Jesus. Sir, you deserve to have your ass sits in jail. Deal with it pal and stop crying.

    Goodluck and i believe Turkey will release you eventually bcus they ain’t mean anyways. This is the same nonsense they did in Iraq that they wanted to preach to the people but they had bigger plan. *******.

  3. Metu Nyetu

    July 19, 2018 at 6:28 AM

    THIS WAS once a Christian country. Look how deep they have sunk in religious intolerance on account of Islam. Nigeria is systematically going the same path, and Christians are more concerned with politics and fattening their big bellies. It’s ok.

    @AMANDA, IT’S comments such as you have made here that makes me believe that Moslems, no matter how calm or friendly they seem to be, are all the same. How could you say that the man deserved imprisonment simply because he did not preach to his brothers in America? Nothing makes you better than Shekau. Repeat: NOTHING MAKES YOU BETTER THAN SHEKAU! The very same religious blood of killing, elimination and intolerance flow through you!

    • Amanda

      July 19, 2018 at 9:39 AM

      Keep deceiving yourself. When your fellow Christians from America during Iraq war went to Iraq to precach, they said categorically that God ordered the war on innocent Iraqi people.

      Christians Nations collectively murdered Iraqis and turned the country to shamble nr name of democracy work the hope that they can your the country to Christian by having foreigners do pagan celebration called Xmas on muslim land.

      So no, Turkey should jail his ass. He has bunch of MAD people to preach to in the USA. Stop acting like he going to preach to the so called militants is great achievement.

      I repeat, there are mad people he needs to preach to at home who called themselves Christians. They include drug dealers and prostitutes. If he truly wants to preach let him come back home and preach to those people not a far away country. Jesus didn’t send him to do that.

      • Metu Nyetu

        July 19, 2018 at 6:13 PM

        THE HATE IN YOUR HEART, THE VITRIOL DEEP DOWN YOUR SOUL, HAVE all beclouded your sense of right or wrong. All you crave for is to harm people, even those you don’t know personally, just because they are of religions other than Islam. What does that make you? I am not talking about Muslims hear. I am talking about you as a separate, independent entity. What are you? From your comments, it’s not a hard thing to infer that you are not so nice a lady: I am sure you would punish somebody just because he/she bears the same name with somebody else who might have wronged you in the past. That is what I call a heart of stone. That is what you have.

        • Amanda

          July 19, 2018 at 10:18 PM

          ***************. Instead of reminding the pastor of the danger he put himself to, you worry about me :(

          A fact that you can not refute is that, there are enough people in the US this pastor could preach to. But instead he chose thousands of miles away to propagate his religion which means he is up to something. He went to preach to militant in another country while there are enough militants(KKK and MS 16) in his own. Listen, he knows there is no gain preaching to his own countrymen but there is a lot to gain for preaching in majority muslim country hoping that muslims would answer his calls and then he take credit for it. Fvck that

          Jesus himself start his preaching to his own people first. He is reported to have said in Matthew 10:5

          “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles and do not enter into any city of the Samaritans.”

          this verse indicates he should preach to his own people first in his own country.

          • Metu Nyetu

            July 20, 2018 at 7:00 AM

            IF I MAY ask you, In what part of Nigeria do you reside? Well, judging from what you just said, you shouldn’t set foot on another soil except the northern side of Nigeria. And so, if you are living or doing business any other place, you would be an empty hypocrite: And I am quite certain you are.

            WHAT YOUR PEOPLE DO is very evil. They travel anywhere their delight picks without inhibitions from the locals, yet they don’t allow any idea that opposes theirs. In the north, Christians live in constant fear of persecution. But down south, even Christian governments encourage Moslems. So who has love, and who has hate between the two religions? Yet you are the first to say that Islam is peace. Even the way you use censored words shows how “peaceful” you are, in the context of Islam, of course.

            I BET that one of the reasons you are still a moslem today is the fear of the fiery response you would get from your people in any event of your conversion. You are not a free individual, neither do you possess a free mind. Whatever guiding principle you know and practice today was bequeathed to you via subtle indoctrination by those who are ahead of you, and that explains why you could be this wicked without even realizing it. You need help!!!!! You are quoting the bible you know nothing about.

  4. Mon

    July 19, 2018 at 8:24 AM

    Daily our peace of mind is robbed by ever increasing complexities of life. We cannot live in denial of the fact that our society is driven by frenzy. There is so much noise,so much politics being used for distraction. Ironically we seem content,probably because we are not aware of the consequences, for those who truly WORSHIP GOD through GOD the SON, YESHUA, aka JESUS, worry not because HE is still alive,so stay strong and do not relent, for those using His name for politics or faking miracles etc,change your way before it’s too late.

    The God i know, YESHUA shall never allow evil to win, no matter how long it takes.

  5. Emmagod

    July 20, 2018 at 9:07 AM

    Jesus said go ye into the world & preach the gospel, is turkey not part of the world? Whose words are we to obey, Jesus or turkish law? Bro. Keep calm your God will deliver you from the hands of these wicked generation.

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