Andrew Brunson is an American pastor who has languished in a Turkish prison since this past October because of his missionary activities. This past week Brunson was charged with attempting to overthrow the government and “attempting to destroy the constitutional order.” Foreign citizens with ties to Christian groups are often detained under the state of emergency powers which were put in place after the coup in July 2016.
08/27/2017 Turkey (Christianity Today) – A US missionary detained in Turkey has been charged with attempting to overthrow the government after being arrested last October.
Andrew Brunson is accused of acquiring confidential political and military information and for attempting to destroy the constitutional order, according to local news site Hurriyet Daily.
A missionary and pastor, Brunson was arrested as part of a crackdown after Turkey’s attempted military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed last July.
He is suspected of having links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric blamed for the coup.
Brunson denies all charges and said he was defending Jesus according to Turkish law.
‘I don’t support any Islamic movement. I have never seen any member of FETÖ (a derogatory term invented by government to refer Gülen movement) in my life,’ he said.
Until their arrest, Andrew and Norine Brunson led the Izmir Resurrection Church in Ankara, capital of Turkey, which has up to 40 regular members. They have lived in Turkey for 23 years.
His wife was released shortly after but Andrew has remained in custody with prosecutors alleging he had links with Gülen.