On July 15, 2016, Christian pastor Andrew Brunson had no idea that a group of Turkish rebels were about to make a choice that would put his own life in serious danger.
On this day, a group within the Turkish armed forces attempted to overthrow their government. Over 300 were killed and more than 2,100 were injured before the rebellion was squashed by the State.
In the days and weeks that followed, the Turkish government began their campaign to hunt down and punish anyone who they believed might be disloyal to their regime. First and foremost, the administration blamed a Turkish Muslim cleric named Fethulla Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, for spreading teachings they believed inspired the rebellion. Since Gulen was out of reach in the United States, however, they began sweeping up anyone they suspected of being disloyal to the government—particularly religious leaders and Americans.
The New York Times described how this crackdown “swept up tens of thousands of Turks — military officials, police officers, judges, journalists and others — in prosecutions and purges that are wrenching Turkey back to darker eras it had appeared to have left behind.”
Among those taken prisoner were several Americans. They took a chemistry professor, a real estate agent, and a scientist into custody. And they arrested 48-year-old Christian pastor, Andrew Brunson, who had peacefully lived and ministered in Turkey for 23 years.
As we work to support persecuted Christians in over 60 countries that are hostile to the Christian faith, Open Doors is incredibly concerned about this situation in Turkey—a country who is #31 on our World Watch List, which ranks regions where it is most difficult to be a Christian. Today, we continue to spread Andrew’s story and to ask Christian readers to join us in bringing attention to his plight.
Read more at Christianity Today.