Turkey has imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson on the charge of delivering pro-Kurdish sermons and of being part of a terrorist organization. Brunson says that he does not know how to speak Kurdish and that he did not knowingly provide a platform for anti-Turkish government messages. These accusations are significant because the Turkish government views them as nothing less than treason in which case Brunson would face capital punishment. ICC continues to work with other organizations to push for Brunson’s release.
2017-05-23 Turkey (Christian Post) – Turkish prosecutors have accused imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson of delivering pro-Kurdish sermons and having links to the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkey government accuses of planning the July 2016 coup attempt.
The Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s oldest English-language news daily, has reported that Brunson, a U.S. citizen who spent the last 23 years in Turkey and was imprisoned last October on terrorism charges, is now being accused of issuing sermons with a “special purpose” to a Kurdish audience. The new accusations come days after U.S. President Donald Trump pressed for Brunson’s release.
Brunson pastors at İzmir Resurrection Church and was previously accused of having links to what the Turkish government calls the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO), a name that refers to people who follow Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based preacher who denies Turkey’s accusations that he masterminded the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last July.