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Rev. Andrew Brunson — Has His Imprisonment Become Too Costly for Turkey?

Lela Gilbert

American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson has been locked up in a miserable Turkish prison since October 2016.

The trumped-up charges against him — spying, terrorism, and participating in a coup against strongman President Tayyip Erdogan — would be laughable if the pastor’s plight weren’t so agonizing and unjust.

Brunson and his wife and family have been on innumerable prayer lists around the world ever since his case became well known. Millions have not ceased to pray for him.

Meanwhile, as no other case in recent memory, America’s political and diplomatic leadership has relentlessly sought a solution. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and a host of Senators and Congressmen have tirelessly demanded his release.

Now an op-ed by popular columnist Serkan Demirtas in Turkey’s popular news source Hurriyet offers hope to all concerned.

Demirtas predicts that Brunson may soon be released.

He explains, “… the continued detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson and of two local employees of the U.S. diplomatic missions are among issues the U.S. Department of State has been heavily engaged on.”

Demirtas explains that because Brunson is an evangelical pastor, his case has attracted an extraordinary amount of attention in the U.S., in both religious and political circles.

He writes, “It has caused a number of serious congressional interventions against Turkey, which would cause political consequences.

“Brunson, who has been in jail since late 2016, seems to be much too costly for Turkey and his continued detention would further complicate the situation. That is why many diplomats in Ankara expect his potential release followed by his deportation pending trial on the July 18 hearing…”

Turkey’s President Erdogan is an unpredictable character, with super-sized ambitions for himself and his country.

These days, he seems to have his hands full, what with invading Syria, arresting tens of thousands of Turks and others in a massive “counter-terrorism” purge, while as a NATO member, seeking to purchase American F35 aircraft while arming himself with Russia’s S400 missile defense system.

Maybe the time has come for Erdogan, like Henry II, to be rid of the unwelcome American Christian pastor while ripping up the absurdly fallacious indictment against him.

Meanwhile, in the days to come, those of use who have prayed and written and pressed the U.S. government to take action should redouble our efforts in every possible way.

As Serkan Demirtas points out, July 18 is just around the corner.

May it mark the end the repeated lies and false accusations against Andrew Brunson.

May the prison doors clang shut behind him once and for all as he walks free.

And may a time of healing and restoration for him, his wife and family begin — accompanied by songs of praise and thanksgiving.

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