An American Christian who has been a pastor of a church in Turkey and ministering to the Turkish people for more than two decades has been imprisoned for his faith.
Turkish authorities detained Andrew Brunson and his wife, Norine, on October 7. She was released a few days later, but Andrew remained in detention for two months and was later sent to jail.
Brunson is charged with having links to terrorist groups, but Isaac Six, spokesman for International Christian Concern, says that accusation is increasingly common in Turkey against any person or group the government is looking to target.
"We definitely think this is because of his faith," Six tells OneNewsNow. "If Andrew weren't a Christian, we don't think we would have seen this. We haven't seen a larger number of other foreigners being detained or deported. So this is very likely because of the fact that he's a Christian and the [ministry] work that he and his wife were doing in the country."
According to Six, Brunson – a U.S. citizen from North Carolina – has demonstrated his commitment to the Turkish people for more than 20 years.
"He's really dedicated his life to serving the people of Turkey," says the ICC spokesman, "and [he] has no connections with any groups that would oppose the movement or something like that. So we've been really concerned about his family the last couple of months and have been working hard behind the scenes to try to make sure he's taken care of and ultimately that he's released."
Six encourages Americans to speak up on behalf of Brunson by contacting members of Congress and the Turkish Embassy.