Christians in Turkey request renewed prayer for American pastor Andrew Brunson, imprisoned in Izmir and facing four consecutive life sentences on newly devised charges.
On 24th August Andrew Brunson was connected by a video link from the maximum security prison where he is being held to a judge in the 2nd Criminal Court in Izmir. The judge read out allegations from the chief prosecutor’s office that Andrew had obtained confidential political and military information for espionage purposes, specifically to “overthrow” the Turkish Parliament and government and undermine the constitutional order of the state.
Andrew denied any such activity and reiterated that he is a “a man of religion” whose aim is to tell about Jesus Christ. Chairman of the Association of Protestant Churches (TeK), Ihsan Ozbek, labelled the accusations “absurd” and “political”. Neither Andrew nor his lawyer have had access to his file or any evidence submitted.
It is reported that Andrew is among those being considered for a possible prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Turkish governments.
Andrew was originally arrested with his wife on 7th October 2016. They were told that they were to be deported as “a threat to national security”. His wife was subsequently released, but Andrew was held in an immigration detention facility until he was transferred to a prison in Izmir after a court appearance and allegations linking him to the Fetullah Gulen organisation, blamed for instigating the attempted military coup in Turkey on 15th July 2016.
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
Andrew has been deeply affected by these new allegations. Christians in Turkey request prayer for him and his family that:
a) God will make His presence felt by Andrew and strengthen and console him
b) God will keep Andrew’s family from anxiety and discouragement in this difficult time
c) Those engaged in negotiations for Andrew’s release will have much wisdom
d) Justice and righteousness will prevail in Turkey and that the officials involved in bringing false charges will be stopped
e) Andrew will be released soon and be reunited with his family