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Andrew Brunson greeting people
Pastor Brunson greeted the crowd as he was led to house arrest.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

In a story that carries strong political overtones, American pastor Andrew Brunson was transferred from prison to house arrest on July 25th, despite a rejected appeal only days before. It was speculated that the move had taken place in an effort to diffuse tensions between the United States and Turkey over Pastor Brunson's arrest and imprisonment.

It is certainly an answer to prayer that he is no longer in prison. Yet the fact remains that he is still restricted and faces charges carrying very harsh penalties. David Curry from Open Doors USA affirmed, "While we are cautiously optimistic based on what we heard...there are still troubling factors. These trials can go on for a long time, and he's not been totally vindicated." For more information on Pastor Brunson's case, see this report.

Following his release, the house arrest sentencing had been appealed, but was rejected on July 31st. In response, the U.S. government issued sanctions against Turkey's Justice Minister and Interior Minister on August 1st, saying that the two men "serve as leaders of Turkish government organizations responsible for implementing Turkey's serious human rights abuses." Continue to remember Pastor Brunson during this time of uncertainty, praying that he will be freed and fully vindicated.

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Country Information

Population
82,482,383 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Turkish (70-75), Kurdish (19), other minorities (7-12)

Religion (%)
Islam (99.8), other (0.2)

Leader
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2014)

Government type
Parliamentary republic

Legal system
Civil law system derived from various European continental legal systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Turkey

Prayerfully uphold those who have had their churches and places of worship taken over by a government that does not represent their beliefs, values or ordinances. Ask the Lord to oversee the mediation process as church officials and government representatives endeavour to work out a solution that is both honouring to Him and fair to all the members of the various churches. Despite the challenges experienced by the believers of this country, may they have a sense of God's reassuring presence and peace, knowing that one day He will reign supremely and justly over the entire earth.

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