Calls are being renewed for the release of a pastor from prison in Turkey.
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church says it has launched a petition drive in hopes of drawing attention to the imprisonment of Andrew Brunson.
The American-born Presbyterian teaching elder has been ministering to the Turkish people for more than 20 years. But in October of last year, he was arrested and accused of having "membership in an armed terrorist organization."
Carmen LaBerge, president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, says that charge is false and Brunson's only "crime" is being a Christian.
"He's only being held, I believe, as essentially an international pawn," she alleges, "in Turkey's attempt to have the United States extradite a person who lives here that Turkey would very much like to have in Turkey so that they can charge him with issues in their own country."
LaBerge says believers should speak out against this.
"The punitive nature of this related to their faith is something that Christians must be concerned about," she says. "And as an American who is being held in a foreign country for no legitimate reason, it is an issue that should rise to the concern of our federal government as well."
She asks for prayers for Brunson and his family.