|TURKEY: Pray for end to pastor’s prison ordeal
Pastor Andrew Brunson (left) has been behind bars in western Turkey since October – because officials suspect he’s a ‘terrorist’. In fact, he and his wife, Norine, love Turkey and have served its people for the past 23 years.
Pray that Andrew will be released immediately so that he and Norine can continue their ministry at Izmir Resurrection Church.
Their nightmare began on October 7 when they were summoned to Turkey’s Interior Ministry. They thought they were being called to a meeting to discuss their application for permanent residency. Instead, they were arrested and detained.
Norine was released after two weeks but Andrew was charged with having links to the Gulen movement which the Government blames for last year’s attempted coup. More than 40,000 people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the failed plot. In the past four years, at least 100 pastors serving in Turkey have reportedly been denied visas or permits, and forced to leave. Several pastors have been accused of being ‘a threat to national security’. Many fear the Turkish authorities are taking advantage of current insecurity to clamp down on Christianity.
- Ask God to protect, encourage and strengthen Andrew. As a foreigner, the American pastor has to apply to the Ministry of Justice for each family visit, while Turkish prisoners are allowed such visits once a week. Pray that Andrew will be freed soon.
- Pray that Andrew’s fellow inmates will be touched by his witness.
- Pray that Christians in Turkey will stand firm in their faith and not be discouraged by the recent crackdown.
Please write to Turkey’s Minister of Interior, H E Süleyman Soylu, asking for Andrew’s release, using the sample letter and contact address given on this webpage. Find out more about our ministry to Prisoners of faith here. (Sources: The Association of Protestant Churches in Turkey, Middle East Concern)