11/02/2018 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkish media reported on Thursday that the court has released its detailed ruling against American Pastor Andrew Brunson. Pastor Brunson was originally arrested in October 2016 and was imprisoned until October 2018. Even though he was released and immediately returned to the US, he was still convicted of aiding a terrorist organization.
On November 1, Turkey released the details of Pastor Brunson’s conviction. The ruling maintained the government’s position that Pastor Brunson had imposed terrorist ideas on church members and that he supported the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (F.E.T.O.), whom the government blames for the 2016 coup attempt.
This detailed ruling is alarming. Pastor Brunson was denied due process at every point in the judicial process. The combination of this perversion of justice combined with the language of his conviction sets a concerning precedent for the Christians who remain in Turkey. The legal system is convoluted and unclear about what rights Christians have. Meanwhile, President Erdogan continues to drive the country towards an Islamic identity.
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