Report Submitted by ACLJ and Friends of Brunson Family

After only one day of a trial filled with video testimony by secret prosecution witnesses whose voices and appearances were disguised, a Turkish judge denied Andrew Brunson’s release and delayed his trial until May 7. Senator Thom Tillis and Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, were present at the trial.

The family reports that Andrew “gave a fantastic defense that lasted several hours,” and his lawyer also did well. A quote from Andrew’s words to the court states, “I am a Christian pastor. . . I’ve never done anything against Turkey. I love Turkey. I’ve been praying for Turkey for 25 years . . .”

Adding to the heartbreak of the delay was the judge’s order to send Andrew to an overcrowded prison, known for its poor conditions, rather than return him to the prison where he had recently been held. This bleak turn of events indicates an alarming escalation in his case, according to the ACLJ, who continues to aggressively work with the U.S. government and the U. N. for his release and who states, “Turkey must understand that, as a NATO ally, it cannot be allowed to continue to wrongfully imprison an innocent U.S. citizen.”

As you can imagine, to Pastor Andrew, his family and all who love and pray for them, the news is devastating. The next 3 weeks are crucial. Efforts will continue to secure his release. The family and Andrew know you are praying and say to you, “[This] setback is no reason to lose hope. The enemy makes himself appear larger than life to the purpose of intimidation, but that’s just a defense mechanism triggered by his own terror.” So, we urge you, please continue to pray for:

Peace and God’s mercy for Andrew, his family, and his return home.
All those in government, the ACLJ, the U.N. and other organizations and individuals working for his release.
Andrew’s physical and spiritual strength and protection – that he would be overshadowed by God’s presence and His angels – that he will be treated well, despite the conditions around him and have favor with prison officials and inmates, as well as those in the Turkish government who are considering his future.