July 18 Update on Pastor Andrew Brunson [revised]

Immediately after I posted this most recent update, even more updated news came forth that was disappointing:

A court in the Aegean province of İzmir has ruled that Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried on terrorism and spying charges, will be kept in jail pending trial.

The Second High Penal Court in İzmir decided to continue listening to the testimonies of witnesses in the next hearing on Oct. 12.

Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of having links with the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) that Ankara blames for the failed 2016 coup attempt, as well the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

He was detained nearly two years ago and faces up to 35 years in prison if found guilty. Brunson denied the charges, calling them “shameful and disgusting.”

[More here]

Please continue to pray for Andrew and his wife, Norine, with this difficult news.


 

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As with many others I continue to watch the situation playing out in Turkey with Pastor Andrew Brunson, whose trial continued yesterday and today. Here’s the latest update:

An American pastor being tried in Turkey on terrorism and spying charges could be freed on July 18 when prosecution witnesses finish testifying in a case which has deepened a rift between two NATO allies, his lawyer said.

Andrew Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of having links with the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) that Ankara blames for the failed 2016 coup attempt, as well the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

He was detained nearly two years ago and faces up to 35 years in prison if found guilty. Brunson denied the charges, calling them “shameful and disgusting.”

President Donald Trump has called for his release and the U.S. Senate passed a bill last month including a measure that prohibits Turkey from buying F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets because of Brunson’s imprisonment and Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system.

Defense lawyer İsmail Cem Halavurt said Turkish courts can remand defendants in detention while evidence is collected, to prevent any interference. That process is expected to be concluded on July 18 when the final three prosecution witnesses are due to be heard, meaning he could be freed for the remainder of the trial.

“We have been saying that he must be released under the law since day one,” Halavurt said.

[Read more here]

A prayer resource for him shared these updated requests for prayer:

May Andrew have a strong witness. He intends to publicly forgive all those who have spoken against him.

May the giant hand of the Lord come and set Andrew free.

May they find nothing wrong in Andrew.

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