Rev. (Dr.) Andrew Brunson | missionary in Turkey

On 7 October of last year, Rev. (Dr.) Andrew Brunson and his wife Norine were arrested in Izmir, Turkey, where they have been residents for 23 years. The pastoring couple were held as a threat to national security, although it is believed that the real reason for the arrest is related to their Christian relief work with refugees from Syria (including Kurds). They were denied access to either lawyers or consular assistance for over four weeks.

Following some publicity in the Turkish national press, and action on the part of the United States Embassy, Norine was released on 19 October. However, to date, Rev. Brunson remains in detention. Turkish officials have since tried to impose on him the signing of a waiver falsely attesting that he did not request consular assistance.

Negotiations between the U.S. Embassy and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs resulted in a consular official finally being allowed to meet with Rev. Brunson on 5 November, and again on 30 November.

The ministering couple had previously signed papers agreeing to comply with a deportation order. However, the official in charge marked a box on the document to indicate that this agreement applied to a “leader, member, or supporter of a terrorist organization.” (This accusation was based on the testimony of a secret informant whose claim has also been used to prevent the pastor’s lawyer from accessing the case file.)

On 9 December, the accused pastor was moved to the Counter Terrorism Department, and from there taken to the court for questioning. The lawyer, having just met his client for the first time, was also in attendance. Following the court appearance, Rev. Brunson was transferred to Izmir Aliaga Prison.

Please uphold Rev. Andrew Brunson in prayer, asking that the slanderous accusations and falsified documents against him will hold no credence in court, and that all charges against him will be quickly dismissed.

Time in prison:

In prison for 681 days

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Sample letter

You can help by using the “sample letter” provided below or respectfully writing a similar letter of your own and sending it to the Interior Ministry of Turkey.

 The “sample letter” reads:

Dear Sir,

I am writing in regards to the imprisonment of Dr. Andrew Brunson who has served as a pastor in Izmir, Turkey, for the past 23 years.

Dr. Brunson has served according to the teaching and practice of his Christian beliefs. He does not support and is not associated with any groups or organizations operating against the Turkish State.

We request, therefore, that you take all steps necessary to ensure Dr. Brunson’s release from prison.

 Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

(Add your signature)

Please post the letter to the following address:

Sayin Bakan Suleyman Soylu
TC Icisleri Bakanligi Icerisinde Bakanliklar
06580 Cankaya
Ankara, Turkey

Other steps you can take to help:

Write to the Turkish Interior Ministry about this case

(please read our writing guidelines before contacting any embassy or high commission on behalf of a prisoner)

Please post the letter to the following address:
Sayin Bakan Suleyman Soylu
TC Icisleri Bakanligi Icerisinde Bakanliklar
06580 Cankaya
Ankara, Turkey

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