US Pastor Imprisoned for Two Years, Finally Free

Denise Najera, Sports Recorder

A couple of years ago a US pastor was detained in Turkey and thrown in prison. Pastor Andrew Brunson says he was imprisoned and for eighteen months didn’t know the reason as to why.

After so many trials and complications, Brunson was finally freed October 12, 2018. He was originally arrested October 7, 2016 and spent two years there. Turkish authorities arrested the pastor as part of a sweeping crackdown after a failed military coup in July that year .  Burnson was first arrested with his wife, Norine, but she was released thirteen days later. Andrew on the other hand was kept and charged with attempt to overthrow the government/terrorism.

“We were very shocked because we had spent 23 years working very openly, telling people about Jesus, helping refugees, things like that. So we hadn’t done anything that would harm national security. We were just telling people about Jesus,” Brunson said. He goes on to say that when they put him in prison they placed him in a solitary confinement before putting him in an overcrowded prison. He was faced with 3 years to life in prison.

CBS News

After so long, they finally were going to sentence Andrew to three years in prison, but luckily for Brunson, through pressure from President Trump, authorities removed the charges and allowed him time served. Any other additional charges were also dropped from his case. “My entire family thanks the President, the administration, and Congress for their unwavering support. This is the day our family has been praying for – I am delighted to be on my way home to the United States.”

Despite all this happening, the Brunsons have no ill will against Turkey. “We love it. We love the people. We have dear friends there. We pray for its blessing,” Norine said.

Finally freed, Andrew Brunson is re-adjusting back into his life, and has told CBS that him and his wife sadly won’t be going back to Turkey any time soon.