by Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews.com
The Turkish government released Friday an American Protestant pastor who spent 21 months in jail and two under house arrest, following persistent pressure from, and a secret deal with, the Trump administration.
Andrew Brunson, a pastor who had worked in Turkey for 20 years, was arrested in October 2016 as part of a crackdown against political opponents of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, after a failed coup attempt. The arrests ensnared “tens of thousands of teachers, politicians, police officers, journalists, and others were arrested or fired from their jobs in retaliation,” according to the LA Times.
He was put on trial for the crime of “Christianization,” with a Turkish judge attempting to link the North Carolina pastor to a political movement launched by Muslim Muhammed Fethullah Gülen and accusing him of helping members of the Kurdish Workers’ Party escape the country. The Turkish government considers both to be terrorist groups. If convicted, Brunson would spend the next 35 years in a Turkish prison.
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