American Pastor Andrew Brunson has now been officially charged, facing what amounts to life in prison, as his trial begins in just weeks.
Yesterday, in yet another turn of events, a Turkish court approved an indictment that the Turkish prosecutor apparently turned in last week, even after denying doing so. Since the indictment has been approved, the prosecution phase of the case will now begin. After almost a year and a half in prison, Pastor Andrew has his first court date set for April 16, 2018. The case file is now finally open, and by the end of the week, we should have access to all of the alleged evidence.
The 62-page indictment, wholly lacking merit, provides no evidence regarding criminal action by Pastor Andrew, which comes as no surprise. Pastor Andrew, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years, serving as Pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church, has maintained his innocence and has reiterated that he has been in Turkey for only one reason, to tell about Jesus Christ. Incredibly, the indictment now admits that Turkey considers "Christianization" to be an act of terrorism.
We will continue to keep you updated as we carefully review and analyze the 62-page indictment and fight against those absurd and false charges. As we told you last week, if convicted, these serious charges carry with them a 35 year sentence, which for the 50-year-old American pastor amounts to life in prison.
We are working closely with Pastor Andrew’s Turkish attorney, the State Department, and Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback in this critical time. Now, more than ever, we need to remind Turkey that the eyes of the world are watching this case closely and the world is demanding Pastor Andrew’s release.
Join with us and more than 460,000 people across the globe, as we aggressively fight for his freedom.
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