Andrew Brunson denies charges as trial begins in Turkey


AndrewBrunsonOctober2017

Andrew Brunson

Speaking at the beginning of his trial on April 16, EPC Teaching Elder Andrew Brunson denied accusations that he aided terror groups or spied against Turkey. The trial convened at 9:00 a.m. local time (2:00 a.m. EDT) in Aliaga, Turkey. Aliaga is about 40 miles north of Izmir, where Brunson served as pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church at the time of his arrest in October 2016.

“I don’t accept any of the allegations or accusations,” Brunson said in fluent Turkish. “I did not engage in any illegal activity. I had no relations with anyone engaged in such activity. I am a Christian pastor. I did not join an Islamic movement. Their aims and mine are different.” He also said, “I’ve never done something against Turkey. I love Turkey. I’ve been praying for Turkey for 25 years. I want truth to come out.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that Brunson’s defense statement lasted five hours, “during which he at times appeared overwhelmed by emotion and wept.”

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Sam Brownback, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State, were in the courtroom. During a recess in the proceedings, Brownback, who also is a former senator and governor of Kansas, told reporters that the United States cares deeply about its relationship with Turkey, and “that relationship is going to have difficulty moving forward as long as Andrew Brunson is incarcerated.”

As of 1:00 p.m. April 16, EPC leaders have not been contacted by sources close to the situation, but have been monitoring international news media for reports from the trial. Among the many media outlets producing articles about the proceedings are Reuters, the Saudi Gazette, and the Washington Post.

“Please continue to pray today as the trial proceeds,” said EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah. “We will provide further updates as more information is available.”

This entry was posted in Andrew Brunson, Ministers, Pastors, People, Uncategorized on by .

About EPConnection

EPConnection is the news and information service of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a denomination of Presbyterian, Reformed, Evangelical, and Missional congregations. To the glory of God, the EPC family aspires to be a global movement of congregations engaged together in God’s mission through transformation, multiplication, and effective biblical leadership, embodying Jesus’ love to our neighbors near and far.

2 thoughts on “Andrew Brunson denies charges as trial begins in Turkey

  1. Jan Wingfield

    Just read this:
    US Commission on International Religious Freedom

    Turkey Misses Opportunity to Release Pastor Andrew Brunson, Sets Next Hearing to May 7

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    April 16, 2018

    Turkey Misses Opportunity to Release Pastor Andrew Brunson, Sets Next Hearing for May 7

    “We are deeply disappointed that Turkish officials today decided to prolong their prosecution and unjust imprisonment of Pastor Andrew Brunson,” said USCIRF Chairman Dr. Daniel Mark

    There is more in the story I found through Google.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Mike Daniel

    Words cannot convey my disgust for a people group that would consider this man a threat to their well being. It is so obvious that they know he has done nothing wrong. They are just trying to make some kind of statement and are using Andrew Brunson as a tool for their propaganda.

    Like

    Reply

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