16 Facts About Pastor Andrew Brunson
American Pastor Andrew Brunson has been unjustly locked away in a Turkish prison for over a year and a half. His only “crime” is living out his Christian faith. After languishing in prison, cut off from his loved ones for over 21 months, his 3rd trial date has just completed, and it has taken another disheartening turn.
As we are redoubling our efforts at the State Department, on Capitol Hill, and at the United Nations to increase the pressure on Turkey and bring him home, here is a list of key facts you need to know about Pastor Andrew.
- He is a United States citizen, born in South Carolina.
- His Home church is Christ Community Church in Montreat, N.C.
- Graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL in 1991.
- Lived in Turkey for 23 years with his wife and 3 children without incident.
- Pastored Izmir Resurrection Church in Izmir, Turkey.
- Was applying for permanent residency in Turkey before his arrest.
- Was imprisoned on October 7, 2016.
- Our Petition to free Pastor Andrew has more than 500,000 signatures from 202 nations and territories worldwide, including Turkey, advocating for his release.
- His daughter has appeared before Congress and the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on his behalf to ask for intervention.
- Turkish President Erdoğan has suggested, on several occasions, a swap of Pastor Andrew in exchange for a Turkish cleric currently residing in Pennsylvania.
- Lost over 50 lbs. in prison.
- Is falsely charged with Membership in an Armed Terrorist Organization and Political/Military Espionage and faces 35 years in prison.
- A large percentage of the 62-page indictment presented against him is comprised of statements by unknown and discredited “secret witnesses.”
- The first day of his trial (April 16th) was attended by North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis and the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback.
- After the first day of his trial, he was remanded back to the horrible, notoriously overcrowded prison where he was first held after his arrest.
- The sham trial has been arbitrarily postponed three times, with the next court date – only the fourth since April – now set for October 12th.
The ACLJ continues to work feverishly on Capitol Hill, with the State Department, and the White House on his behalf. We’re also urging the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to intervene in the case and help bring him home to his family.
(This post was last updated July 18, 2018.)