“I am going crazy here:” Christian Pastor Jailed 18 Months in Turkey for His Faith

Craig HueyReligious Liberties & The Persecuted Church2 Comments

Held in a Turkish prison for 18 months before being allowed to appear in court…

Incarcerated for 18 months before having an opportunity to deny the charges against him and defend himself…

Separated from his wife and daughters for 18 months – missing one daughter’s wedding and another’s graduation.

This is what it’s been like for 50-year-old pastor Andrew Brunson – a North Carolina missionary who has given the past 23 years of his life to reach the people of Turkey for Christ…

He has been losing hope … and more than 50 pounds … during his 18 months in prison.

He pastors a church in Izmir … attended by both Turks and Kurds…

Turkish prosecutors accuse Brunson of supporting and colluding with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party – known as the PKK – a Kurdish terrorist group Turkey blames for the 2016 attempted military coup against President Recep Erdogan.

There is no evidence suggesting the accusations are justified … but if convicted, Brunson could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison.

The trial began this week with video testimony of anonymous witnesses testifying that some members of Brunson’s congregation are PKK sympathizers … and with a 1-hour statement by Pastor Brunson – spoken in Turkish.

Two prominent U.S. persons attended Day 1 of the trial:

  • Sam Brownback – U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
  • S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) – Pastor Brunson’s home-state Senator

After one day of testimony, the Turkish judge adjourned the hearing until May 7th and returned Pastor Brunson to custody.

Before being escorted away, he turned to his wife in the courtroom and said, “I am going crazy here. I love you.”

Please pray for Pastor Andrew Brunson … for his wife and family … and for U.S. State Department officials who are attempting to negotiate his release…

Please pray also for Sam Brownback and his courageous work for Pastor Brunson’s release…

And pray for the Turkish judge and prosecutors – that they will see that Pastor Brunson is innocent of the charges that have been levied against him.

“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1)


What do you think?  Write me at craig@electionforum.org

2 Comments on ““I am going crazy here:” Christian Pastor Jailed 18 Months in Turkey for His Faith”

  1. Dear Craig,
    People here have no idea what It’s like to live where there is no due process of the law. I went on a short-term mission to Thailand where I taught in several schools. There were other teachers from around the world. In a discussion with another teacher, I asked questions about the king and queen. The other teacher told me not to talk about politics for fear someone would hear and I might be accused of dissension. He said that he and I could be imprisoned for such talk.

  2. Praying for Pastor Brunson’s protection, swift release from these false charges, and the Lord’s comfort and peace upon his heart and mind during this horrible ordeal.

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