Top News
news_img NHL says hockey is for everyone; it's Kim Davis' job to help make that a reality  ||   news_img Michael Jackson estate sues HBO over 'Leaving Neverland' documentary about sex abuse claims  ||   news_img Don't 'starve our schools': Oakland teachers are the latest to walk out for more pay  ||   news_img These are the 10 best cars, SUVs and pickups of 2019, according to Consumer Reports  ||   news_img DA: Couple arrested for stealing $1.2 million from their church  ||   news_img Syracuse coach Boeheim strikes, kills pedestrian on highway  ||   news_img Reasons behind Georges St-Pierre's decision to retire  ||   news_img 'Leaving Neverland': Michael Jackson accusers say 'sex became safe zone' in new interview  ||   news_img Courteney Cox texted daughter 'I love you' during scare on jet to Jennifer Aniston's birthday  ||   news_img New Harry Potter-themed roller coaster opening in June at Universal Orlando  ||   news_img This robot vacuum works with Alexa—and it's an amazing price right now  ||   news_img The Trump administration keeps breaking up migrant families. Here's how it does it  ||   news_img These are the 10 best cars, SUVs and pickups of 2019, according to Consumer Reports  ||   news_img It's a bird? It's a plane? It's a birdwatching app  ||   news_img Man arrested after trying to get rid of marijuana plants in fireplace  ||   news_img In 2005, about 200 people ate ‘zombie’ deer meat. Here’s what happened  ||   news_img The Monkees' bassist Peter Tork dead at 77  ||   news_img Instant Pots are super popular—here's how to buy the right one  ||   news_img I became part of our story on racist images in college yearbooks. I'm here to apologize for publishing that photo  ||   news_img 10 tech tips for Google, Instagram and Facebook to get your digital life in order  ||            

Turkish court releases American pastor from house arrest  4 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

WASHINGTON - A Turkish court on Friday released American pastor Andrew Brunson after more than two years of detention in a case that caused a deep rift in U.S.-Turkey relations and was sharply criticized by the Trump administration.

Brunson, a Christian missionary who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was arrested in 2016 and accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Turkey, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He had rejected the allegations.

President Donald Trump had clashed with Erdogan over Brunson’s case – going so far as to slap sanctions and tariffs on Turkey earlier this year to pressure the Turkish leader.

“We’re very honored to have him back with us," Trump said after landing in Ohio for a campaign rally on Friday. "He suffered greatly.”

Trump told reporters that Brunson would be visiting the White House on Saturday, saying the U.S. pastor had left Turkey and was stopping in Germany for a medical examination before continuing his trip to the United States.

Trump said “no deal” was made with Turkish officials to secure Brunson’s release.

“We’re very happy to have him … I hear he’s in very good shape,” said Trump.

Trump started off his Friday night rally with the news of Brunson's release and used it as a chance to showcase the other successes his administration has had with releasing Americans held abroad in North Korea, Egypt and Venezuela. 

"We bring a lot of people back and that's good," the president said. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Brunson and his family for their “bravery and faith” and the work of Trump and several senators for securing Brunson’s release from detention.

“I hope the conclusion of this ugly episode will mark a turning point toward better days for the important relationship between the United States and Turkey,” McConnell said in a statement.

Laura Brunson, the pastor’s sister, told Fox News that all the charges brought against her brother were “false” and that his family is “just glad it’s over.”

 “It’s been a rollercoaster ride,” she said. “We are overjoyed right now, but it just doesn’t still doesn’t seem quite real.”

Brunson is not the only U.S. citizen detained in Turkey, but he has gained the most attention in part because of his ties to the American evangelical community. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have become personally involved in pressing for his release. 

Groups promoting global freedom and protections of Christians applauded Brunson’s release and Trump’s intervention.

“The president has rightly recognized that economic leverage can help bring positive change for human rights and can convey a powerful message of solidarity with oppressed religious minorities, especially persecuted Christians,” said David Curry, president of Open Doors USA in a statement. “In this case, it worked and was helpful in the release of an American Christian.”

Brunson, who has family roots in North Carolina, has been under house arrest with his wife Norine – forbidden from leaving his guarded apartment in Izmir, a city on Turkey's southwest coast.

Brunson previously served 20 months in a Turkish jail. He could have faced up to 35 years in prison. His supporters have said the charges against him are absurd.

"He is not an armed terrorist trying to overthrow any government," Brunson’s daughter, Jacqueline Brunson Furnari, said at a July 24 State Department forum on human rights and religious freedom. "... Every single thing in his life is centered on his faith."

Before his arrest, Andrew Brunson and his wife a tended to a small congregation at their Resurrection Church in Izmir, a city of 4.2 million people that's nearly twice as large as Houston. They spent years ministering to Christians in a country where Islam is the religion followed by the vast majority of Turks.

More News
About Us Terms & Conditions Disclaimer
Advertise Contact
register and win

NRIS.COM is one of the premier NRI website that provides a range of resourceful services to Indian expats residing in the USA. Visiting the site you will find comprehensive information related to restaurants, casinos, pubs, temples, carpool, movies, education, real estate, and forums. The simple and easy to navigate format allows NRIs to gain information within a fraction of a second. Moreover, advertising through its column of Indian free classifieds in USA allow businesses to improve visibility of their brand.

National NRI's Chat (0 Users Online)