American pastor Andrew Brunson finally free! A Turkish court freed him from house arrest and allowed to leave the country. Brunson held more than two years on charges of terrorism. As reported by Chris Mitchell from Jerusalem, the arrest of Branson led to the fact that the two NATO allies – the United States and Turkey have faced in the large-scale geopolitical confrontation about the faith and future of the gospel Minister.
The case of pastor Brunson mobilized Christians around the world.
“Hundreds of thousands of people prayed for the release of pastor Brunson. And not only in the US but around the world,” says the Evangelical pastor from new York William Devlin.
Before the trial of Vice-President Mike Pence said that the release of pastor Brunson is a priority for the administration trump.
“Our administration has made clear that we will continue to stand on his own, while pastor Andrew Brunson are not free and will not be home to the US with his family and the Church,” said Michael Pence.
“We have never seen someone so many times raised a similar question in conversations at the highest level with the Turkish government,” said an analyst on Middle East and Islam Mike Kerem.
Turkey has accused Branson attempted coup of 2016, whose goal was to overthrow the government of Turkish President Erdogan. If the pastor is found guilty, he would expect the term to 35 years in prison. The latest hearing in his case took place near Izmir, ancient Smyrna. Branson more than 20 years he served in his Church and denied all charges. Trump administration imposed economic sanctions against Turkey to secure his release. Analyst for the Middle East, Michael Kerem, says that the pastor Brunson was not only for their freedom.
“I believe that it is a call to prayer. And not only for Andrew, but for the Turks, Kurds, Syrians, Iraqis and Iranians who live nearby. Because it is obvious that Andrew Brunson arrested for one reason – his hope and faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, not only the West but all over the world,” says Michael Karam.
It is expected that soon Branson will be back in the United States.
MIN: we were joined BY chief international correspondent for CBN’s Gary lane. Welcome, Gary. What role in the liberation Brunson has played a trump administration?
Huge. Of course, first and foremost, we should thank God. But Donald trump is not left Andrew Brunson. And always talked about him. Also do not forget about the Christians who are in his administration. Vice-President Mike Pence has closely followed this case. The same applies to Secretary Mike Pompeo. They constantly raised this issue and personally prayed for the release of Andrew Branson.
MHN: What financial pressure the US has had on Turkey?
Politically it was very important, because the administration of trump, if you remember, in July and August last year tried to secure the release of Branson, but to no avail. It merely was placed under house arrest. Everyone thought that by the time it releases. Trump is pissed about this and said, “We will impose sanctions”. Mark, it imposed sanctions against two senior officials of the Turkish government: the Minister of justice and Minister of internal Affairs. They did it immediately. And then he said he will impose further sanctions against Turkey. In fact, he said: “We will introduce duties on aluminium and steel, if you don’t let Branson”.
MHN: let’s talk now about prayer and the role it has played in all of this.
Yes. Prayer has played an important role. Christians around the world knelt and prayed for the release of pastor Brunson. They prayed separately and also in groups. We cannot underestimate the importance of this, because prayer is a key tool. It also inspired our leaders to fight for Brunson.
But Branson was strong in the faith. He is a man of faith. Of course, when he was in prison, he had his times of depression. But he says that it is a privilege to be in prison for Jesus. Today he said, “I love Jesus and I love Turkey.”
MCHN: Yes. He lost almost 23kg, but still preached to prisoners about Jesus. This is an amazing testimony.
He lost weight, but not faith in Christ.