Pastor Andrew Brunson Is Free! Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition Celebrates Release of Imprisoned Pastor
Imprisoned in Turkey for Two Years, Andrew Brunson Is a Free Man
WASHINGTON—Along with thousands of Christians and other faith-based groups, the Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) Coalition is celebrating the release of imprisoned North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson from his two-year detention in Turkey. Brunson, who had been detained by the government of Turkey since the fall of 2016 on false accusations of “spying” and “aiding terror groups,” was moved to house arrest in July and fully released by a Turkish court at a hearing today.
“This has been a long road of persecution for Pastor Andrew Brunson,” said founding Coalition member and Save the Persecuted Christians Director Dede Laugesen. “We are joyful and so thankful for Pastor Brunson’s long-awaited freedom. We praise God for this wonderful turn of events and thank the many people who worked on his behalf, including high-ranking officials within the Trump administration and influential and committed attorneys. Despite the joy we feel today, we must never forget there are millions of Christians who are not free to believe in Christ. Many remain jailed, persecuted in their own communities or even shunned in their own homes. We pray all will someday experience the freedom Andrew Brunson is savoring today.”
The STPC Coalition, which advocates on behalf of 215 million Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide, continues to work diligently to disseminate actionable information about ways in which the American people can help those like Pastor Brunson who are being persecuted for their faith.
Especially in light of headlines surrounding Pastor Brunson, raising awareness about Christian persecution is crucial, as violence toward and imprisonment of Christians occurs so routinely it rarely makes the news. For example, according to Open Doors, 255 Christians are killed worldwide every month. 104 Christians are abducted. 180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted or forced into marriage. 160 Christians are detained or imprisoned without trial. And 66 churches are attacked. Every month.
With such staggering statistics, and the knowledge that most of these crimes are not covered in the media, the STPC Coalition developed a special news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution that do make the news and to provide readers an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.
One of the simple and economical ways Americans can render support is by encouraging their pastors and faith leaders to visit www.SaveThePersecutedChristians.org and to order a free banner to display in front of their houses of worship. These simple banners feature a graphic “Save Us” plea with a cross and the coalition’s website where Americans can learn about the global persecution of Christians and find out more about what they can do to help stop it.
With so much of the world’s population attacked, imprisoned or exiled for their beliefs—like Pastor Brunson and other followers of Christ in Turkey—the time is fitting for the work of the STPC Coalition. The Coalition is building a movement like one in the 1970s that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—so as to impel policy changes that will hold the persecutors accountable and increase the costs for their crimes against humanity. Building such a movement is necessary to provide American policymakers the leverage needed to influence change worldwide and to alleviate the suffering of those who are being persecuted merely because of their faith in Jesus Christ.