Last month, I wrote about our brother, North Carolina Pastor Andrew Brunson and his imprisonment in Turkey under false charges of trying to overthrow the government. At the time, he had just finished a second hearing and was sent back to jail to await a third. I wanted to share with you an encouraging update in his case.
Earlier this week, Pastor Brunson was released from prison and sent to his home to be under house arrest. He was released, reports say, due to deteriorating health; he has lost 50 pounds.
But while his body is weak, his will remains strong. At every opportunity, Pastor Brunson is glorifying God. He has publically forgiven his captors and accusers and is sharing the Gospel whenever possible, professing that “It is a privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ.” His grace is impressive.
I am so grateful for his perseverance and for your commitment to prayer for our brother in Christ. It’s a small victory, but his battle isn’t over yet.
Thankfully, his case is receiving the attention it needs. While speaking at the U.S. Department of State’s landmark Ministerial on Religious Liberty meeting, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence publically promised that he and President Trump will “continue to work for [his] release until he is restored and returned to the United States of America,” and warned of sanctions on Turkey if he is not released. In a tweet, President Trump urged believers across America to “keep praying.”
I too, urge you to continue your prayers for Pastor Brunson’s health, perseverance and release. They are making a difference!
I had the privilege of attending this week’s Ministerial on Religious Liberty meeting and look forward to separately updating you on the progress that took place in Washington this week. This is a bold and unprecedented step by our government and I’m so thrilled that our voices are being heard and that our brothers and sisters in Christ may feel relief from their suffering.
Thank you, always, for your prayers and support in our mission to inspire Jesus followers to remember those who suffer for His name.