North Carolina Pastor Could Face Life in Prison

March 13, 2018Mar 13, 2018

Charisma News writes that a Turkish prosecutor on Tuesday attempted to seek a life sentence for a U.S. pastor. The government is claiming that the pastor was involved in a failed coup attempted in 2016. 

The U.S. Government claims that Andrew Brunson, the pastor currently jailed, is one of several Americans who have been detained unjustly by the Turkish government. In fact, during a trip to Ankara last month, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for the American citizen to be freed from jail.

This U.S pastor has been living in Turkey for a total of 23 years. Throughout his time abroad, he has been running a local church and hasn't been involved in overthrowing the Turkish government, claims his defenders.

But this isn't what Turkish authorities are claiming. Rather, they claim that he was an executive of the group that Ankara holds responsible for the failed coup. Turkey also blames the network of Fethullah Gulen, which is a U.S. based Muslim cleric who denies all involvement. 

As a result, the Turkish government has claimed that it will release Brunson if the United States will hand over Gulen. 

Gulen is a Turkish Muslim cleric who has lived in Pennsylvania for 20 years. Some have acknowledged him as the second most powerful man in Turkey, especially since he is the head of a large Islamic movement known as Hizmet, which promotes a tolerant version of Islamic centered around education, modesty, and altruism.

Secret witnesses claimed that Brunson was in very close contact with Gulen's network and was receiving funding from it for missionary activities. Brunson has denied these accusations, claiming that he is a mere defender of Jesus Christ and would never support an Islamic movement. 

The pastor's daughter is outraged at the imprisonment of her father and has claimed that Turkey shouldn't get away with it. 

According to the Christian Post, daughter Jacqueline Brunson has recently told the United States Human Rights Council that the terror allegations against her father are absolutely "absurd." She claims that her father is innocent and that the only crime he has committed is being a Christian pastor. 

Jacqueline therefore claims that her father, a Christian pastor and nothing more, has been wrongfully imprisoned for more than a year and a half. 

"Turkey should not get away with holding my father one more day," she maintains, according to the Christian Post.

"Having grown up in Turkey, it has been hard for me to understand the situation. My family loves and respects the Turkish people, and my father has been dedicated to serving them for over two decades," she said. 

"I know the allegations against my father are absurd. He is not an armed terrorist trying to overthrow any government, my father is a peaceful pastor. My family has suffered greatly during the past year and a half, which has been filled with tears, and countless unanswered questions."

The Daily Caller reports that the court must still approve the indictment before prosection against Brunson can continue. The United States claims that the Turkish government doesn't have sufficient evidence to imprison this pastor.

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