The trial of Pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey continues with no clear end in sight and no apparent justice in the law courts. Brunson has been held since 2016 under allegations of spying, even though he has vigorously denied these allegations and has been a resident of Turkey for more than 20 years. Brunson has served as a pastor for a small nondenominational church in Izmir, the third-largest city in Turkey.
Outside the court on Monday, Sandra Jolley, vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, called for the clergyman’s release.
“Every day that Andrew Brunson spends here in prison is another day that the standing of the Turkish government diminishes in the eyes of not just the U.S. but the entire world,” she told reporters.
As The Atlantic reported yesterday, Brunson has become a pawn in political machinations between Turkey and the United States (read “Turkey’s Dangerous Game of ‘Hostage Diplomacy’: How an American pastor became a political pawn for Erdogan“).
Brunson is the only American on the list of “Prisoners of Conscience” complied by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
For updates and advocacy related to Brunson’s situation: