Calls Renewed for Release of Presbyterian Pastor Andrew Brunson from Prison In Turkey

A Turkish judge sent Rev. Andrew Brunson to prison in Izmir Dec. 9, 64 days after the U.S. pastor and his wife, Norine, were detained on Oct. 7 under Interior Ministry deportation orders. (Courtesy)

Calls are being renewed for the release of a pastor from prison in Turkey.  

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church says it has launched a petition drive in hopes of drawing attention to the imprisonment of Andrew Brunson.

The American-born Presbyterian teaching elder has been ministering to the Turkish people for more than 20 years.  But in October of last year, he was arrested and accused of having “membership in an armed terrorist organization.”

Carmen LaBerge, president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, says that charge is false and Brunson’s only “crime” is being a Christian.

“He’s only being held, I believe, as essentially an international pawn,” she alleges, “in Turkey’s attempt to have the United States extradite a person who lives here that Turkey would very much like to have in Turkey so that they can charge him with issues in their own country.”

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Bill Bumpas