It is not surprising that a Christian minister is in jail in a Muslim country. There are very few Islamic countries that allow the preaching of the gospel. Most Islamic nations have strict penalties for proselyting their citizens. But, the reason that this Christian minister has been jailed might surprise you.
It will also surprise you to know the location of the imprisonment. Turkey has not historically been hostile to Christians. And for many years, missionaries and mission organizations have been granted relative freedom in Turkey. So why is this minister in jail?
Christian News reports
Brunson and his wife Norine, who have been living in Turkey for over 20 years, were detained in Izmir in October. They were accused of having “membership in an armed terrorist organization,” specifically Fetullah Gulen, which is believed to have instigated a military coup against the government in July. Brunson leads Protestant Resurrection Church in the city.
According to World Watch Monitor, Turkish authorities have detained and/or jailed thousands in their efforts to find those behind the failed coup. While Brunson’s wife was released 12 days after being taken into custody, in December, Brunson was escorted into court, being told that a “secret informant” had accused him of involvement in terrorism. He was then imprisoned and has reportedly had little connection with the outside world.
This long time residence of Turkey has been jailed not for his faith, but for doing something in opposition to his faith. He is accused of being a member of an Islamist terror group. He has been implicated in the attempted coup of the Turkish government. He has now turned to the Trump administration for help.
Christian News continues
“I plead with my government—with the Trump administration—to fight for me. I ask the State Department to impose sanctions. I appeal to President Trump: Please help me. Let the Turkish government know that you will not cooperate with them in any way until they release me,” Andrew Munson wrote in a statement released by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). “Please do not leave me here in prison.”
Now the question remains: what will Trump do?