10/03/2018 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Turkish President Erdogan referenced imprisoned Pastor Andrew Brunson’s case as one of the main points of his address during the inaugural session of parliament. The parliament gathered with significantly less power than the previous session, whereas Erdogan is more powerful than ever.
During his address, he told parliament that the US is promoting lawlessness by using “a priest being prosecuted for his shadowy links with terrorist organizations as a pretext to impose sanctions.” His address comes just one week before Pastor Brunson is scheduled to have another hearing. Turkey alleges that Pastor Brunson is guilty of espionage and supporting a terrorist organization. These charges carry a sentence of life in prison.
Erdogan has attempted to leverage this case on a foreign policy level to further strengthen his regime.
Political hostage taking has become the norm under Erdogan’s authoritarian leadership. Pastor Brunson’s case shows just how far Erdogan is willing to trample upon basic human rights and a fair judicial process. We must keep Pastor Brunson in our prayers as his new trial date approaches that he will at last be given the opportunity to safely return home to the United States.
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