How is Andrew connected to the ARP?
Get in touch with the White House
March 15 Update –
This week Turkey broke its months-long silence when its Prime Minister told a group of American journalists visiting Turkey’s capital that Andrew Brunson’s trial will be “accelerated,” adding, “Judiciary matters are not directly controlled by us.”
Turkey has yet to provide evidence to support the arrest and imprisonment of Andrew, who has been held in a Turkish prison since Oct. 7, 2016. The ECLJ and the ACLJ are working together in a global legal advocacy campaign to put significant pressure on Turkey. They believe now is the time to ramp up the pressure and that Pastor Andrew should not even be forced to face a trial, since Turkey has produced no evidence against him.
Brunson’s detention appears to be related to his work as a Christian minister, making his arrest and imprisonment a violation of both Turkey’s Constitution and international agreements to which Turkey is party, as well as Andrew’s fundamental rights.
On March 13, direct action was taken at the U.N., demanding Brunson’s release. This oral intervention before the U.N. Human Rights Council follows the written submission to the same council, in Feb. 2017. Aggressive advocating at the U.N. on Capitol Hill, and with world leaders continues in Andrew’s behalf. Your prayers for the family and for the lawyers are crucial. Read the full USA Today article HERE.
Feb 23 Update –
78 members of Congress from the House and the Senate have written a letter to Turkish President Erdoğan, asking for Andrew’s prompt release. Related press releases have been issued by EPC, ACLJ, ICC, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The EPC link includes an itemized list of all signers, in case you’d like to see whether your senators and representative signed the letter.
We want to reach 100,000 signatures by March 8 on the White House petition concerning Andrew. That means that we need over 80,000 signatures within the next 14 days, which would require an exponential increase from the current rate.
If you have not already signed the White House petition, please do so and share the link with others: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/forgotten-american-turkey
Feb 13 Update – More Actions
As always, please keep everything respectful.
“When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job 23:10b
1. White House petition. We are launching a focused social media campaign this week directed toward President Trump. Capitol Hill leadership and religious freedom advocates have agreed that Trump is the one person who can effect Andrew’s release. He alone could call Erdoğan and tell him, “If you want to have a conversation about a better relationship with the United States, you will first release Andrew Brunson.” This is the message we have tried to get to the President since mid-December. To date, we have failed.
It is time for another approach, so we have launched a “Forgotten American in Turkey” petition at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/forgotten-american-turkey. In order to get the attention of the White House, we need to get 100,000 signatures by March 6. While a high bar, it is reachable if we all take a minute to sign and get the word out to our congregations. In addition, you can contact the White House directly at www.whitehouse.gov/contact#page. We will post links to this petition on EPConnection as well as the EPC Facebook page and Twitter feeds this week.
2. Bipartisan bicameral open letter. There is a bipartisan bicameral open letter from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to Turkish President Erdoğan. If your senators and your representative are not already on the list of signers, please contact them and ask them to sign the “Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s open letter to President Erdoğan concerning Andrew Brunson.” The letter is dated February 10th, so this is time sensitive. You can find your elected officials here.
3. Twitter. We have registered the hashtag #ForgottenAmericanInTurkey so please use it as you share our article with your social networks. Also, please like, share, repost, and retweet any other articles about Andrew that cross your radar (and add #ForgottenAmericanInTurkey). We also can capture the attention of the White House and President Trump by adding the Twitter handles @WhiteHouse and @realDonaldTrump to any article you share. By adding these Twitter handles, your post will appear in both Trump’s and the White House’s feed.
Finally, please consider setting your calendar for noon each day in your local time zone and posting #ForgottenAmericanInTurkey with @WhiteHouse and @realDonaldTrump in your post. If you do this, President Trump—and everyone who follows him—will hear us.
Jan 20 Update
Jan 19 Update –
As of Jan. 19, 2017, Andrew Brunson has been detained 104 days. During that time, he has received only 5 of his wife’s daily letters. Many of you have written letters or postcards to Andrew, and the family is grateful and so is WW. However, since our last update, we learned that none of those letters/postcards are reaching him. Therefore, we ask that you stop writing to Andrew, in hopes this will allow more letters from his family to reach him.
He is crowded into a room with 20 others and barely has space to walk. While others in the room are allowed 5 books each, Andrew has not been allowed any. On the bright side, the Church, in countries like Germany, France, Africa, and Norway, is becoming more involved in seeking his release and in praying.
- His wife to be allowed regular visits with him
- Him to be allowed 5 books, like the other prisoners
- His release
Jan 11 Update –
The good news is that apparently letters can go in and out, so any of you who have sent postcards or have thought of doing so are encouraged to continue. Postage to Turkey for postcards is $1.15. To increase the chances of postcards actually getting through to him, we suggest writing something like what is boldfaced below. (“Andrew, we have not forgotten you. We are praying for you.”) It is best to avoid any English or anything in Turkish that might be misconstrued as a hidden messages:
Andrew senin icin dua ediyoruz. Seni unutmuyoruz.
Jan 3 Update –
Today Andrew Brunson, an American citizen and pastor, will spend his 49th birthday unjustly imprisoned in Turkey, because of his Christian faith.
A recent appeal was denied, even though no evidence was presented against him. Another appeal to a higher court is allowed, but it is uncertain how that process will go. He is now allowed visits with his Turkish attorney but has no attorney-client privacy privilege. He is also allowed to have a New Testament.
Last week he was finally granted a one-time, face-to-face visit with a family member and was very down and discouraged. Pray that today, on his 49th birthday, the Lord will clearly make His presence known in Andrew’s life and situation. And please do not stop praying for him and his release from prison!
Also pray the Lord will have control in the media. The Brunsons love the people of Turkey and urge that social media be kept respectful and non-aggressive.
For further details, visit ACLJ.org.
Dec 20 Update –
As of Monday, Andrew Brunson remains in maximum security prison in Turkey, held on false charges against the Turkish State. The family continues to ask for his immediate release so he would be free to spend Christmas with his family. Please keep fasting and praying this week for Andrew and his family to experience the peace of Christ in this difficult time.
When using social media, please use #freeAndrewBrunson to raise awareness. Click for the updated ARP statement.
Sign the ACLJ Petition
Or send a letter to the Turkish Ministry of Interior
Dec 14 Update –
Andrew Brunson’s case is now public. Read the ACLJ article to learn more.
Dec 10 Update –
On December 9, Andrew Brunson was formally charged on terrorism charges by the Turkish government. Andrew has been detained since October 7th.
In response, the Association of Turkish Protestant Churches has issued a call to prayer and fasting starting today and continuing until Christmas Eve. We would like to invite all ARP congregations to join in this time of calling out to God for His deliverance.
Please pray for these false charges to be dismissed and Andrew to be released. Pray that Andrew, his wife, their three children, and their church would experience the comfort, courage, and peace of Christ in this season. May the Spirit of Advent cause us all to long for the coming of our Savior Immanuel.
Dec 6 Update –
Potentially significant meetings will be held this week that could prove influential in securing Andrew Brunson’s release from prison in Turkey, where he has been held since Oct. 7, 2016.
Please pray for:
- The right people to be involved in these meetings and to have ears to hear.
- No detrimental consequences from these meetings.
- Peace and grace for Andrew and his family.
Nov 15 Update –
We just received word from Pam Brunson that Andrew’s wife’s resident visa was extended, which means she will be able to remain in Turkey for now.
No new developments regarding Andrew were reported. However, his custodians are showing favor to him, i.e. allowing him to have a Bible, returning his eyeglasses, allowing him to have pen and paper to write messages, allowing him to receive written messages, moving him to a cell with a window to the outside. These favors are the result of the prayers of many.
Please continue to pray for Andrew, his wife and their children. Ask the Lord to provide a deeper sense of His presence, as Andrew is feeling the isolation of solitary confinement.
Nov 10 Update –
From Pam, Andrew’s mother – “He begs prayer that his wife may be able to remain in country. That possibility is still in process and we should know by Monday. He has not complained once about the conditions. Pray that others may not be taken as he was. Praise, he was finally given the WORD to read, a very BIG comfort. Your prayers are effective! Thank you!”
From Ron, Andrew’s dad – “Andrew’s situation hasn’t changed. Andrew’s wife and Pam can get in to see him, as well as the American Consul, but they haven’t been able to get permission for the lawyer to see Andrew.”
Nov 2 Update –
- Pray for Andrew’s well-being, release, and the dropping of all charges.
- Contact your congressional representatives and ask them specifically “to write non-public letters to Secretary Kerry, encouraging the Secretary to raise Andrew’s case with Turkish authorities at every level, allowing Andrew and his wife, Norine, to return safely to their children in the United States.”
Oct 22 Update –
Andrew’s wife was released Wednesday afternoon and all charges were dropped. Andrew is still in custody and was moved to another detention center in Izmir on Thursday. He is being held on serious false charges. No one is allowed to see him. Please continue praying for his protection and physical health.
Oct 19 Update – World Watch Monitor
Turkish police authorities holding an American Protestant couple in isolation for the past 13 days released the wife late last night (19 Oct.), but continue to hold her husband incommunicado in an Izmir detention facility.
Rev. Andrew Brunson and his wife were refused contact with U.S. consular officials and lawyers since they were detained on 7 Oct., under Interior Ministry orders for deportation within 15 days on alleged “national security” grounds. To date, no reason for the expulsion order has been given to the couple, who are 20-year residents of Turkey.
Although initial attempts by members of the Izmir Resurrection Church to send in personal effects to their pastor and his wife were refused, this week officials accepted parcels of fresh clothing and medicine for the couple. But the police would not permit a Bible to be sent on to them.
It remained unclear whether Rev. Brunson would be deported or remain in custody. He was transferred to the Cigli detention centre in the northern part of Izmir this morning.
Oct 14 – World Watch Monitor
Turkish officials in the coastal city of Izmir detained American Christians Andrew Brunson and his wife on 7 Oct., refusing ever since to allow daily requests for access to them by U.S. consular officials and lawyers.
According to authorities at the Migration Administration’s detention facility in Izmir, the Turkish Interior Ministry had ordered the couple’s deportation within 15 days. Specifically, the directive reportedly accused them of activities said to constitute a “national security risk”.
When pressed five days later for details about this general accusation, the detention officials said they were “waiting for papers from Ankara” on the case.
Residents of Turkey for the past 20 years, the Brunsons are currently leading the Izmir Resurrection Church, a small Protestant congregation averaging 30 to 40 worshippers, located in the city’s Alsancak district.
After filing a routine application in April to renew their residence visas, the Brunsons had received no response for the past six months. But when they arrived home on 7 Oct., they found a written summons requesting them to report with their passports to a local police station. On arrival, they were immediately taken into custody.
A lawyer asking to visit them was denied access and told to obtain an affidavit as his legal authorisation. But when he returned with the document, officials claimed that the couple had already signed a statement, declaring they did not want a lawyer. The authorities refused to produce the written statement.
A lawyer acting on behalf of the Brunsons filed a petition to the Izmir governor yesterday (12 Oct.), protesting that the incommunicado stipulation against the American Christians was illegal under Turkish detention laws. A member of the Turkish Parliament has also made an inquiry on the handling of their detention.
Although an Izmir church leader confirmed that the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is reportedly “following the arrests”, an embassy official declined any comment on the detentions to World Watch Monitor.
After five days, church friends trying to send in a change of clothing to the couple, who are in their late forties, continue to be rebuffed at the detention centre.