Update April 16, 2018 6:00 pm:
About an hour ago Jay Sekulow broadcast live an update to the case of Pastor Brunson incarcerated in Turkey. Below is what he said to us:
We who have been praying for Pastor Brunson and his family are disappointed but undaunted. We will continue to uphold all involved from President Trump down to the prison guards in prayer. Please join us.
April 16, 2018 8:00 am: It is just after three in the afternoon in Turkey as this is being written. Opening arguments have been heard in the case of Pastor Andrew Brunson. Pastor Brunson was arrested in October 2016 and has been in jail for 17 of the last 18 months without being charged.
About a month ago, the Turkish prosecutor finally turned in the indictment. CeCe Heil had this to report for The American Center for Law and Justice website;
The 62-page indictment, wholly lacking merit, provides no evidence regarding criminal action by Pastor Andrew, which comes as no surprise. Pastor Andrew, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years, serving as Pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church, has maintained his innocence and has reiterated that he has been in Turkey for only one reason, to tell about Jesus Christ. Incredibly, the indictment now admits that Turkey considers “Christianization” to be an act of terrorism.” – CeCe Heil, aclj.org
jn14 has followed this case for over a year via the JaySekulow Live podcast and on Periscope via Twitter. It has been wildly frustrating and heartbreaking to hear updates that became darker and murkier as the Turkish government stalled the indictment over and over. President Trump, the American Ambassador to Turkey, the ACLJ law team, the Ambassador at large for religious freedoms Sam Brownbeck and US Senator Thom Tillis have all appealed on behalf of Pastor Brunson in their various capacities. Brownbeck and Tillis were in the courtroom today with Pastor Brunson on this first day of a criminal trial.
The Turkish government has determined Pastor Brunson is a domestic terrorist and charged him as such. This after 23 years of Turkish residency. His family returned home to North Carolina subsequent to his arrest and after it was determined his wife would not be charged as co-defendant.
Pastor Brunson’s daughter testified before the U.N. Human Rights Council and has postponed her wedding until such time as her father can walk her down the aisle.
The Prosecution in Turkey is asking for a 35 year sentence upon conviction which for a 50 year old man, amounts to life in prison.
Please consider signing the @ACLJ petition to free Pastor Brunson which to date has well over a half-million signatures. You can hear updates on this case and other critical, legal topics covered each day at 12:00 noon on the JaySelulowLive broadcast. We anticipate an update from them, today.
- US pastor goes on trial in Turkey after arrest in coup crackdown – BBC
- 16 facts about Pastor Andrew Brunson – aclj.org
- 62-Page Indictment Against American Pastor Andrew Brunson Calls “Christianization” an Act of Terrorism – aclj.org
- Jay Sekulow – via Twitter
- ACLJ.org – please sign the petition to free Pastor Andrew Brunson