By Walid Shoebat
Last month Shoebat.com warned of the coming Christian persecution in Turkey urging all westerners to leave that country. Today we learned about a case of one U.S pastor’s horrific ordeal in Turkey: Andrew Brunson and his wife, Norine — originally from Black Mountain, N.C. The two have lived in Turkey for 23 years, running a Protestant church in Izmir with the full knowledge of local authorities.
Brunson who was applying for permanent residency in Turkey to do missionary work, was summoned to a local police station in Izmir on Oct. 7 believing that he would be receiving his long-awaited permanent residence card. Instead, Brunson was told he was being deported because he was a “threat to national security.” Brunson was arrested and fingerprinted while awaiting deportation. Officials confiscated all his personal items, including his phone, and denied him access to a Bible. They also prevented him from consulting an attorney and kept him in isolation for several days.
But Brunson’s ordeal would soon take a darker turn. All of the sudden after being locked up for 63 days in a counter-terrorism center in Izmir, he was given a trumped up charge “membership in an armed terrorist organization,” and a judge ordered he be imprisoned instead of deported. The government accuses him of having ties to the American-based cleric, Fetullah Gulen, who Ankara blames for a July coup attempt.
The case being linked to Erdogan pressuring U.S. government to extradite Gulen is a probability. The Islamist nation of Turkey have selected to use Christians to blackmail the U.S. and apply pressure in order to do exchanges forcing the U.S. to handover Gulen and the U.S. will get their pastor. Turkey realizes that persecuting a pastor would gain momentum in hope that U.S. public pressure would finally have the Obama Administration capitulate before Trump takes office.
“The government of Turkey — led by an Islamic party — has begun increased crackdowns on Christians, and Pastor Andrew, if convicted, may face years in prison based on extremely serious — and false — charges,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing Brunson’s family.
This case will probably gain the public attention Turkey desires. The Brunsons, with help from the ACLJ, has already launched a global campaign Wednesday to raise awareness of the pastor’s plight and pressure the U.S. government as well as the United Nations and NATO countries to act on his behalf. Turkey is a member of NATO. An online petition is also being circulated to help secure Brunson’s release.
But the major elephant in the room being ignored is that President Erdoğan of Turkey is setting up his religious and public institution to persecute Christians at a grand scale. One expose revealed horrific killings even beheading of Christians where now Erdoğan has released the offenders while nothing is being said in the media, exactly as it was during the Holocaust.