American Christian Pastor Held Prisoner In Turkey Will Be Released; Prays With Trump In Oval Office

Applying Sanctions, The Release Of American Christian Pastor Held Prisoner In Turkey Was Successfully Negotiated.

A Turkish court set free U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson after holding him in prison for almost two years, removing a key source of tension between Turkey and the United States.
President Trump scored a huge win today when imprisoned American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson was released from a Turkish prison. Trump had applied crippling sanctions on Turkey, demanding that Brunson is released before any new talks could take place.
 
“And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” Acts 5:40,41 (KJV)
 
This is the type of hard-nose diplomacy made famous by the 40th American president Ronald Reagan.
 
Congratulations Mr. President for standing strong, and welcome home Pastor Brunson.
 
FROM BLOOMBERG: The court in Izmir convicted Brunson, 50, an evangelical pastor from North Carolina, and sentenced him to three years, 1 month and 15 days in jail, but lifted all judicial controls and released him after accounting for penalty reductions and time served.
 
Brunson had been accused of collaborating with terrorist groups and participating in a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. His prolonged imprisonment led the U.S. to impose sanctions on two Turkish ministers and threaten further penalties were he not released.
 
Brunson had lived in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir for more than 20 years before being arrested on espionage charges in 2016 as part of a crackdown following the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was transferred to house arrest in July because of poor health, but U.S. officials had expected him to be freed at that time.
 
Brunson’s continued detention — and Erdogan’s refusal to release him despite intense pressure from the White House — was a significant factor in a precipitous decline in U.S.-Turkey relations in recent months. Furious over Turkey’s refusal to let him go, President Donald Trump in August doubled metal tariffs on Turkey and slapped sanctions on two senior Turkish officials involved in Brunson’s detention.
 
“I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Aug. 10. “Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”
 
Turkish officials had sought meetings with the U.S. to negotiate a resolution to the Brunson case and other issues, but in August National Security Adviser John Bolton declared no such talks would proceed until Brunson was let go. In the meantime Turkey’s lira continued its fall, losing about 25 percent of its value in August alone.
 
The White House made no concessions to Turkey to secure Brunson’s release, one U.S. official said. He’s expected to fly to a third country, possibly Germany, before returning to the U.S. It’s not clear whether or when the U.S. will drop sanctions imposed on Turkish officials in response to his detention.
 
After U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson‘s release:
Freed American pastor Andrew Brunson fell to one knee in the Oval Office and placed his hand on President Donald Trump’s shoulder in prayer on Saturday, asking God to provide the president “supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him.”
 
Trump welcomed Brunson to the White House to celebrate his release from nearly two years of confinement in Turkey, which had sparked a diplomatic row with a key ally and outcry from U.S. evangelical groups.
 
Brunson returned to the U.S. aboard a military jet shortly before meeting the president. He was detained in October 2016, formally arrested that December and placed under house arrest on July 25 for health reasons.
 
“From a Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours, that’s not bad,” Trump said.
 
Brunson’s homecoming amounts to a diplomatic — and possibly political — win for Trump and his evangelical base. Coming on the heels of the confirmation of a conservative justice to the Supreme Court, Brunson’s return is likely to leave evangelical Christians feeling good about the president and motivated get to the polls in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
 
Brunson appeared to be in good health and good spirits. When he asked Trump if he could pray for him, the president replied, “Well, I need it probably more than anyone else in this room, so that would be very nice, thank you.”
 
Brunson left his chair beside Trump, kneeled and placed a hand on the president’s shoulder. As Trump bowed his head, Brunson asked God to “give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him. I ask that you give him wisdom in how to lead this country into righteousness.”
 
He continued: “I ask that you give him perseverance, and endurance and courage to stand for truth. I ask that you to protect him from slander from enemies, from those who would undermine. I ask that you make him a great blessing to this country. Fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance. And we bless him. May he be a great blessing to our country. In Jesus’ name, we bless you. Amen.”
No matter what side your on he is now our president and there are Wicca and witches casting curses on him every month. Prayers are needed.
 
Brunson, originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, had lived in Turkey with his family for more than two decades and led a small congregation in the Izmir Resurrection Church. He was accused of committing crimes on behalf of Kurdish militants and to aid a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, accused by Turkey of engineering the failed coup. He faced up to 35 years in jail if convicted of all the charges against him.
 
Administration officials cast Brunson’s release as vindication of Trump’s hard-nosed negotiating stance, saying Turkey tried to set terms for Brunson’s release but that Trump was insistent on Brunson’s release without conditions. Trump maintained there was no deal for Brunson’s freedom, but the president dangled the prospect of better relations between the U.S. and its NATO ally.
 
“We do not pay ransom in this country,” Trump said.
 
Where previous administrations kept negotiations over U.S. prisoners held abroad close to the vest, Trump has elevated them to causes célèbres, striking a tough line with allies and foes alike.
 
Trump thanked Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had resisted the demands of Trump and other high-level U.S. officials for Brunson’s release. Erdogan had insisted that his country’s courts are independent, though he previously had suggested a possible swap for Brunson.
 
The U.S. had repeatedly called for Brunson’s release and, this year, sanctioned two Turkish officials and doubled tariffs on steel and aluminum imports citing in part Brunson’s plight.
 
Trump said the U.S. greatly appreciated Brunson’s release and said the move “will lead to good, perhaps great, relations” between the U.S. and fellow NATO ally Turkey, and said the White House would “take a look” at the sanctions.
 
Trump asked Brunson and his family which candidate they voted for in 2016, saying he was confident they had gone for him. “I would like to say I sent in an absentee ballot from prison,” Brunson quipped.
 
Evangelical voters overwhelmingly voted for the president despite discomfort with his personal shortcomings, in large part because he pledged to champion their causes, from defending persecuted Christians overseas to appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court. In the space of seven days, less than a month from the midterm elections, Trump delivered on both fronts.
 
Prominent evangelical leaders such as Tony Perkins have championed Brunson’s case, as has Vice President Mike Pence. First word of Brunson’s arrival back on American soil Saturday came from Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Perkins tweeted just after noon that he had landed at a military base outside Washington with Brunson and his wife, Norine.
 
Erdogan said on Twitter that he hoped the two countries will continue to cooperate “as it befits two allies.” Erdogan also called for joint efforts against terrorism, and he listed the Islamic State group, Kurdish militants and the network of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.
 
Relations between the countries have become severely strained over Brunson’s detention and a host of other issues.
 
A Turkish court on Friday convicted Brunson of having links to terrorism and sentenced him to just over three years in prison, but released the 50-year-old evangelical pastor because he had already spent nearly two years in detention. An earlier charge of espionage was dropped.
 
Hours later, Brunson was flown out of Turkey, his home for more than two decades. He was taken to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, for a medical checkup.
 
“I love Jesus. I love Turkey,” an emotional Brunson, who had maintained his innocence, told the court at Friday’s hearing.
 
Brunson’s release could benefit Turkey by allowing the government to focus on an escalating diplomatic crisis over Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi contributor to The Washington Post who has been missing for more than a week and is feared dead after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, was killed in the consulate; Saudi officials deny it.
 
Trump maintained the two cases were not linked, saying Brunson’s release amid the Khashoggi investigation was “strict coincidence.”
FILE PHOTO: U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson reacts as he arrives at his home after being released from the prison in Izmir
FILE PHOTO: U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson reacts as he arrives at his home after being released from the prison in Izmir, Turkey July 25, 2018. Picture taken July 25, 2018. Demiroren News Agency/DHA via REUTERS/File photo ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY.
 
Turkey may also hope the U.S. will now lift the tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports, a move that would inject confidence into an economy rattled by high inflation and foreign currency debt.
 
But Brunson’s release doesn’t resolve disagreements over U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, as well as a plan by Turkey to buy Russian surface-to-air missiles. Turkey is also frustrated by the refusal of the U.S. to extradite Gulen.
 
That makes 14 people Trump has gotten back from foreign prisons.

We’re talking about our brothers and sisters in other countries that are also doing God’s work that need our prayers, hate Trump all you want that’s up to you, but we owe it to our Brothers and Sisters first, not political first, no matter what. Please remember that and Pray!

 

 

 

 

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