The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) today called the release of American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was imprisoned in Turkey for two years, “a significant victory for Pastor Brunson and his family” and in the words of Pastor Brunson: “This is the day our family has been praying for – I am delighted to be on my way home to the United States.”
The ACLJ represents Pastor Brunson – a U.S. citizen from Black Mountain, North Carolina – who was imprisoned in Turkey because of his Christian faith. Pastor Brunson was on trial for the crime of “Christianization” and after extensive negotiations, the Turkish government released Pastor Brunson from prison on July 25th but placed him under “house arrest” – confined to his home in Turkey.
The ACLJ, which has been working in this country and abroad to secure his freedom, said President Trump, as well as members of Congress, continued to push for Pastor Brunson’s release and Turkish officials finally agreed. Pastor Brunson is now en route to the United States.
“President Trump and his team have been tenacious in seeking the release of Pastor Brunson,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “We’re grateful to the President, members of Congress and diplomatic leaders who continued to put pressure on Turkey to secure the freedom of Pastor Brunson. The fact that he is now on a plane to the United States can only be viewed as a significant victory for Pastor Brunson and his family.”
Pastor Brunson is looking forward to being reunited with his family.
“We are grateful for the President’s commitment and efforts in securing my release,” said Pastor Brunson, as he prepares to leave Turkey en route to the U.S. “My entire family thanks the President, the administration, and Congress for their unwavering support. This is the day our family has been praying for – I am delighted to be on my way home to the United States. It’s been an extremely difficult time for our family and we want to express our appreciation to the millions of people around the world who have faithfully prayed for this day. I am thankful for the representation of the American Center for Law & Justice – especially ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow and ACLJ Senior Counsel CeCe Heil – as well as the many others who worked so hard to obtain my freedom. I look forward to returning home and being reunited with my family.”
In its representation of Pastor Brunson’s family, the ACLJ mobilized its international resources – including ACLJ-affiliated offices in the region – seeking Pastor Brunson’s freedom.
The ACLJ launched a global campaign to generate awareness of Pastor Brunson’s plight and called on the U.S. State Department, as well as international organizations – including the United Nations and NATO member countries – to demand Turkey – a NATO member – release Pastor Brunson.