Wednesday, April 18, 2018

American Pastor Gets Initial Hearing In Turkish Court

According to Al-Monitor, in Turkey a North Carolina pastor finally was able to appear in court after being held in detention for 18 months. Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who led a small Protestant congregation in the Turkish city of Izmir, rejected the terrorism and espionage charges against him.  Brunson was among the many arrested after the failed 2016 coup which Turkish officials blame on Fethullah Gulen, who is living in Pennsylvania.  Many believe that the Turkish government wants to exchange Brunson for Gulen.  The court adjourned Brunson's trial until May 7, and ruled that he will continue to be held in solitary confinement. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a statement saying in part:
We are deeply disappointed that Turkish officials today decided to prolong their prosecution and unjust imprisonment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.