Persecution Unveiled Cause

Persecution Unveiled Cause
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Persecution Unveiled has established this cause to educate people about the persecution of Christians and religious minorities in the US & worldwide. Mission Raising awareness to the growing tide of bigotry and hatred toward Christians around the world has become a burden on those trying to wake up those who cherish religious freedom as a God given right. Persecution Unveiled has been called by God to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to speak up and act on behalf of those who have no voice. Email
persecutionunveiled@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wife of Iranian Pentecostal Leader Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison After Praying With Christians


By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post


The wife of the former Assyrian Pentecostal Church leader in Iran has been sentenced to five years in prison, allegedly for endangering national security. But human rights advocates have said she is being punished for praying with other Christians.

The Center for Human Rights in Iran reported on Monday that Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran handed down earlier in January a five-year sentence to Shamiram Isavi, the wife of Victor Bet Tamraz.
"As far as we know, and based on Mrs. Isavi's own statements, no evidence has been presented in the case to show that she was engaged in spying or disturbing national security. She has denied all the charges," Kiarash Alipour, a spokesman for Article 18, a U.K.-based organization focusing on Christians in Iran, told the group.
"Mrs. Isavi explained during the interrogation that when the Assyrian Pentecostal Church was shut down, she attended home churches and prayed with fellow Christians and discussed the Holy Book," Alipour said. "It's astonishing that a country's national security could be threatened by a gathering of Christian believers."
Officials claimed that Isavi was "acting against national security" through her efforts in organizing house churches, which is not allowed in Iran, as well as attending Christian seminars abroad.

Tamraz was arrested with Isavi and their son, Ramin, along with 12 other Christian converts, back in December 2014 in Tehran. The pastor and two of the converts were given 10-year prison sentences, while another convert was punished with 15 years.

The Iranian government, which in recent months has faced public anti-corruption protests, has not relented in its crackdown on Christians in 2018, continuing with the arrests and punishments it carried out in 2017.

Iranian agencies such as Mohabat News reported in October that believers have also been told by authorities that they will be beaten for their faith in Jesus Christ, or be forced to leave the country.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom named Iran among the five worst countries in the world in August when it comes to blasphemy laws and its treatment of minorities, while Open Doors USA recently listed the Islamic nation at No.10 on its World Watch List.

Christian Post report continues here

Persecution Unveiled has been called by God to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to speak up and act on behalf of those who have no voice.  Follow us on  Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Christians Are More Persecuted Than Any Other Faith Group

The United States Needs to Take Bold Action to Prevent Christianity in Many Countries from Disappearing Altogether



By Kerby Anderson
Christian Post


A recent report by Aid to the Church in Need documents that persecution of Christians today is worse than at any time in history.

"Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith groups. But ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution."
In some countries the situation was already so severe, it is hard to imagine how it could be any worse. Other countries (like China) have seen intolerance on the rise, as evidenced by a clampdown on dissent clergy and the destruction of churches.

Most of the countries where persecution against Christians is the most intense are Muslim countries (though North Korea and China are notable exceptions). Former Representative Frank Wolf has been on Point of View many times and recently called for the United State to take "bold action" to prevent Christianity in Iraq from disappearing altogether. Of course, ISIS remains a threat to Iraq's minority groups but they also face threat from a Baghdad-sanctioned Shiite militia.

World Summit

Earlier this year, the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians was held in Washington, D.C. More than 600 victims and advocates from 130 countries gathered to raise awareness of the plight of persecuted Christians.
Franklin Graham said that he "spent time this week with two men whose brothers were among the Coptic Christians marched out on the beach in Libya and viciously beheaded by ISIS for refusing to deny Christ."
 Some were surprised to hear the story of one of the men who actually was from Chad and had NOT been a Christian prior to the day of his beheading. As the terrorists gave each Christian a choice to deny Jesus or die, they came to this man from Chad. He answered, "Their God is my God." He was moved by the faith of these Christians and chose to die with them.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the summit. He observed, "The reality is, across the wider world, the Christian faith is under siege. Throughout the world, no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ." He also added that he believed "ISIS is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of Christian faith and it is time people called it by name."

During the summit's final session, the organizers put forth a declaration that called for all believers to declare their allegiance with those who suffer for Christ's name. They pledged to promote awareness of persecuted Christians as well as pray and urge other believers to pray for those being persecuted. It also called for churches and individual Christians to provide practical assistance to the persecuted church.

Ignored and Forgotten?

Whenever I do a radio program on the plight of persecuted Christians, I notice two things. First, the number of people who call into the program drops significantly. Second, a number of those who do call the program complain that we should be more concerned with what is happening in America.

Christian Post article continues here

Blogger's Note


Why does the Church in America continue to ignore the plight of persecuted Christians?  A good question. At the very least, every Sunday pastors can pray from their pulpit for our brothers and sisters and ask their congregations to include them in their daily prayers. They can educate through bulletin inserts. Direct them to Open Doors USA and Voice of the Martyrs and learn how to become an advocate, volunteer, support and get the latest prayer requests from persecuted Christians. 

"As Christians, we are called to take a stand for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. Hebrews 13:3 says, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Learn more about how you can help persecuted Christians." Open Doors Statement

Terry Noble

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Muslims Converting to Christianity: Growth-Spurt in a Surprising Country

“I’ve heard statistics as high as 70 percent of Iranians have rejected Islam"


By Lyndsey Koh
Mission Network News


Which country do you think has the fastest growing Church in the world? China? Russia? Maybe a country in South America?

Here’s a hint: the official name of the country starts with ‘The Islamic Republic’.

Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Marytrs, USA reveals, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is actually the place in the world where the Church is growing the fastest, something that would be pretty surprising to most Christians.”

The situation is bursting with irony. The Islamic Republic of Iran is listed on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List in the top ten hardest countries to be a believer.  
And yet, last year, Operation World listed Iran as having a 19.6 percent uptick in the Christian population annually — more than any other country.

“Conversion is illegal, the above-ground churches have almost all been closed down,” says Nettleton. “So it is a country that has worked very hard to eliminate Christianity, and particularly to eliminate Muslim conversion to Christianity. But it’s the place in the world where the Church is growing the fastest.”
The Laws That Backfire

Why is the Iranian Church going through such a growth spurt?

Nettleton shares, “I’ve had Iranian Christians tell me, ‘The greatest missionary in Iran, the greatest evangelist we’ve had in Iran was the Ayatollah Khomeini.’ This is the guy who took power in 1979, he converted Iran to the Islamic Republic [saying], ‘We’re going to run our country according to what Mohammed would have us do, we’re going to run our country according to the Koran.’
“Now here we are thirty-plus years later, and most Iranians have rejected Islam precisely because of that. The country is run by the Mullahs. The government says, ‘We’re doing everything according to Islamic principles.’ So if the government doesn’t work, if there’s still corruption, if there’s still poverty, then that must mean Islam doesn’t work…. That failure has really, in the eyes of the people of Iran, become the failure of Islam.”
According to Nettleton, the Iranian people are going through honest introspection about what they’ve witnessed in their country, and what that means for their lives…and their souls.


Note to Readers: This article is dated September 26, 2016.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Eritrean Christian Refused to Renounce Faith Even Through 13 Years of Suffering in Prison


By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post


An Eritrean Christian has opened up about the 13 years of suffering he underwent for his faith in prison, including being punished for months at a time in a confined cell where he could not even stretch his limbs. Despite the suffering, he refused time and time again to renounce his faith.

World Watch Monitor reported on Tuesday that Shiden first came to faith in his late teens, despite the country's hostile treatment of evangelical Christians. He joined military service at the age of 22, but was caught during a secret worship meeting with other Christians.

From there he was moved to prison camps where he was made to suffer under harsh conditions, such as no sanitation, with guards taunting him and telling him to renounce his Christianity.

He answered back, however:
"I won't leave the faith because I believe it and I live by what I believe. I served this country faithfully and honestly during my military service. When you sent me to work in the field, I did that without complaining. But my belief is my personal belief, and you have to respect that. But if you don't, then I am willing to pay for it."
Later he was given two sheets of paper by prison officials, and asked to choose whether he believes in Jesus or not. Once again he stuck by his faith and told officials he was willing to pay the consequences, which is when he was moved to the general prison in Barentu, where he would spend the next 10 years.
"He was often put in solitary confinement for six months at a time, staying in a very small cell where he couldn't stretch out his arms or even stand up straight," the report describes.
At one point he was moved back to national service, but guards discovered sections of the Bible in his possession, which again had him sent to solitary confinement for a period of three months.
"During that time he saw no-one. Once a day, a cup of tea and a slice of bread were put through a gap in the door. He had no idea if anyone even knew what state he was in. He said it was a horrifying experience and that, to make it worse, just beforehand he had heard that some friends had managed to escape and cross the border," World Watch Monitor said.
Even after his release from prison after 13 years, Shiden continues suffering from the trauma of what he experienced, and with so much of his young adult life spent behind bars, he has missed out on education and job opportunities.

Although some officially recognized churches are allowed to operate in the African country, the targeting and persecution of Christians there is so severe that it is ranked at No. 6 on Open Doors USA's 2018 World Watch List of nations.


Persecution Unveiled has been called by God to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to speak up and act on behalf of those who have no voice.  Follow us on  Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook

Christians in China Fear Persecution Will Get Worse After Authorities Bomb Evangelical Megachurch

Footage of the demolition of the Golden Lampstand Church by Chinese officials in Linfen, Shanxi province, China, on January 9, 2018.

By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post

An evangelical megachurch was destroyed by Chinese Communist authorities Tuesday in the country's northern Shanxi province, sparking fears among Christians that the persecution they suffer will soon get worse.

China Aid said in an update Wednesday that Chinese military police detonated explosives inside Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, destroying the $2.6 million house of worship, which was owned by the Christians who worshiped there.

A demolition crew broke apart the remaining pieces of the church after the explosion with diggers and jackhammers.

Lampstand's head Pastor, Yang Rongli, had previously spent seven years in prison on charges of assembling a large crowd to disturb traffic order, and has been under police surveillance since his release in October 2016.

Describing the demolition, the pastor was quoted as saying that at first, police surrounded the church.
"Patrol wagons guarded the church. Workers smashed the church's glass. At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch," she said.
"The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen."
The order to demolish the church reportedly came from China's top officials, who control the military police.
"The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights," said ChinaAid President and founder Bob Fu.
"ChinaAid calls on the international community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches."
The Guardian reports that a Catholic church in the neighboring province of Shaanxi was also demolished in a similar fashion last month, which is stoking fears among Christians that the widespread crackdown on churches continues in full force.

As many as 1,200 crosses have been removed from churches in Zhejiang province since 2015, with officials arguing that many of the demolitions have been down to building code violations.

A local pastor, who asked not to be named, said that he saw "more police than I could count" at the site, preventing worshipers from approaching.
"My heart was sad to see this demolition and now I worry about more churches being demolished, even my own," he said. "This church was built in 2008, there's no reason for them to destroy it now."
The Associated Press noted that the evangelical megachurch had a congregation of 50,000, and had been targeted by police on a number of occasions. Officials reportedly hired thugs to smash the church and take its Bible during the crackdown in 2009, when Rongli was arrested.


Persecution Unveiled has been called by God to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to speak up and act on behalf of those who have no voice.  Follow us on  Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook

Iranian Christian Convert Leads 1,500 Muslims to Christ in Sweden

Woman Keeps Evangelizing Despite Bombing and Murder Threats by Muslims

Annahita Parsan (L), minister in the Church of Sweden, in a video posted on April 28, 2017. 
(Screencap: YouTube/Tidningen Daben)

By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post


An Iranian convert to Christianity who is now an ordained minister in the Church of Sweden says she has helped bring nearly 1,500 Muslims to Christ over the past five years.

Annahita Parsan told Fox News in a report on Wednesday that her life, which has undergone huge tribulations, is "completely different since coming to Jesus."
The minister said she was raised in a Muslim home in Iran and married at 16, though a couple of years later her husband was killed in a car accident.

She had to fight for custody for her son, which she successfully won, and two years later was re-married to a man whose wife had died. Her second husband started beating her son, and although she wanted a divorce it was impossible for her to do because she was pregnant with a second child.

Parsan, her daughter, and the rest of the family fled as refugees in 1984 in the wake of the Iran-Iraq conflict, but met great hardships, including spending a month in prison in Turkey because they did not have identification papers or passports. Eventually they made it to Denmark, which is where Parsan started learning more about Jesus Christ.
"In about the first or second month there, a woman came to the door to speak about God. But it was not in my interest," Parsan said. "I was so angry, I was so unhappy. But she came back the next day with a small Bible, so this time I asked Jesus to help me."
She started reading the Bible, which she had to keep secret from her husband, and grew in the faith. But her family life only got worse and she attempted to take her own life by overdosing on sleeping pills after her husband physically attacked her.

She survived the assault and that was when she woke up in a hospital and realized she was being called for greater things.
"I was too scared to go home and the police came to the hospital to talk to me. Many people were helping me find a safe place to live, and I knew it was Jesus," Parsan recalled.
"And soon, the police called to tell me that they had uncovered a plot in which my abusive husband had planned to kidnap the children back to Iran. After that, we moved to Sweden, and the policeman told me that I have an angel on my shoulder."
Two years after moving to Sweden she was baptized in the Christian faith. In 2006, she survived a car accident, which is when she said she realized God spared her life so that she could help Muslims come to Christ.

In 2012, Parson became a minister in the Church of Sweden, focusing much of her work on reaching out to the Muslim community and inviting them to explore the faith.

She has helped as many as 1,500 come to Christ in the past five years, she estimates, despite risks to her life.
"I have serious threats at least a couple of times per year, a threat of a knife attack or a bomb attack. I have a police officer attached to my case I can always call, and we have security during our services. I have other threats from my own distant family members," she revealed. "But for me, what I do is worth it."
Christians back in Iran meanwhile continue suffering intense persecution for their faith, believers have said, despite the claims of a prominent bishop who attempted to argue that they "enjoy complete freedom."

Christian Post article continues here

Persecution Unveiled has been called by God to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to speak up and act on behalf of those who have no voice.  Follow us on  Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Atheists Want a World Without Christianity. Here's How It Would Look


By Michelle Vu
Christian Post


Atheists and Islamic extremists have something in common – they want a world without Christianity. These strange bedfellows believe that the world would be a better place if it was devoid of this religion started by Jesus Christ two millennia ago and counts a third of the world's population as followers.

But they don't have to imagine what a 'grand' world it would be without Christianity, they just have to look at history during the Greco-Roman period and more recently during the 20th century.

"What was the world like before Jesus? Was that a great world?" asks Dr. Jeremiah J. Johnston, president of Christian Thinkers Society, in an interview with ChristianWeek. "There is nothing new about the 'New Atheism'. ... They are going to take us back to a pre-Christian, pagan, racist world of inequality because without God there is no humanity. Without God there are no morals."

Johnston is the author of the new book Unimaginable: What Our World Would Be Like Without Christianity (Bethany House, December 2017), which has an astounding 31 pages of citation notes for 200 pages of reading. The professional researcher, who also serves as professor of Early Christianity at Houston Baptist University, begins the book by looking at the world before Christianity. 

He cites ancient letters and historical records by non-Christian civilians and historians to paint a world where Greco-Roman gods often were seen as the source of harm and suffering, a fourth of the population was sick at any given time, a quarter of the population were slaves and sold naked like animals in markets, life expectancy was only 20 years of age, and infant girls and babies born with abnormalities were routinely "exposed" to the elements and wild animals to their deaths, as normal practice.

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(PHOTO: COURTESY OF ALLEN CLARKPHOTOGRAPHY)
Dr. Jeremiah Johnston is a New Testament scholar, professor, apologist and author of the new book on unresolved questions within the Christian faith, "Unanswered: Lasting Truth For Trending Questions."
"By today's standards, it was hell on earth. Poverty, sickness, premature death, domestic violence, economic injustice, slavery, and political corruption were the given of life," Johnston writes.

The concise book, written with the busy mom in mind, is divided into three parts: The World Before Christianity, The World Without Christianity, and The World with Christianity.

Before Christianity, the idea of human dignity and value were arguably non-existent. One in four people in the Roman Empire was a slave, and the ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle writes in Ethica nicomachea 8.11: "The slave is a living tool and the tool a lifeless slave." 

Slaves were property and therefore owners could sexually exploit female, male and child slaves with impunity.

Aristotle also writes in Politica, "Slaves are subhuman or lesser men, while masters are superior."

Also the Roman Law of the Twelve Tables (Leges Duodecim Tabularum), dated as far back as fifth century BC, commanded fathers to put to death their child if he/she is deformed, with a law in Table IV.1 reading: "A notably deformed child shall be killed immediately."

For women, every point in her life during the Greco-Roman era was fraught with danger. A girl baby was more likely to be abandoned or killed, young girls or teenagers were likely to face sexual abuse or forced prostitution, adult women were under the control of their husbands who had the right to abuse or abandon them, and widows faced poverty.


Militant Muslims Firebomb Evangelical Church in Kyrgyzstan; Flames Stop at Open Bible


By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post

Christians said they saw a "sign from God" following a firebombing attack by Muslim militants on an evangelical church in Kyrgyzstan. The flames burned through much of the interior but stopped at the open Bible on the altar.
"This is an amazing sign," said a man identified only as Paul, from Operation Mark, a partner of Release International in Kyrgyzstan.
"This happened once before when Communists set fire to a Pentecostal Church during the night. The Bible and that building survived too, and there is no doubt the church in Kyrgyzstan will survive — and continue to preach the gospel."
Release International, a persecution watchdog group, reported on Monday that the radicals doused the Evangelical Christian Baptist Church in Kaji-Say with petrol, setting it on fire as a way to carry out revenge for outreach efforts.

The attack took place last week, with the fire spreading through the pews and altar cloth, but stopping right before it could touch the open Bible.

Firemen arrived to put out the flames, and no one was reported hurt, as the church was empty at the time of the fire.

Christians, who are a minority in Kyrgyzstan, say that they have been facing increasing opposition to their Gospel outreach efforts, with Operation Mark warning that tensions are getting worse.

Besides radical attacks, believers also face challenges in the face of the government, which forbids missionary work. The restrictions are found throughout countries in the region.

"In Kazakhstan, unregistered churches are not allowed to gather. In Tajikistan, Christian parents are not allowed to take their own children to church and in Turkmenistan many Christians have been arrested and beaten, interrogated and threatened. Copies of the Bible and New Testament have been confiscated," Paul explained.
"But the most difficult situation for Christians is in Uzbekistan and its autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan. Any gathering is illegal. In some places the only way to meet as a small group is to drive around town in a car."
Back in October, Kyrgyzstan, which has a history of communism, was listed by Pew among the top 10 nonreligious nations that are most hostile to Christianity and other religious institutions.

Other watchdog groups, such as Open Doors, also reported on a number of attacks on churches in the country in 2017.

Last July, a church was robbed during the night, with furniture broken, and threatening messages left by hardline Muslims reading "We will kill you," "Don't teach our children," and "Allah."

"There have been reports in the past of Christians being denied the right to bury their dead, a family fleeing their village and a husband beating his wife and daughter to try to force them to recant," Open Doors noted of the challenges facing Christians at the time. 
Website: Christian Post 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Facebook Takes Down 'Warriors for Christ' Page Citing Policy on Bullying, Hate Speech


By Samuel Smith
Christian Post

Facebook has unpublished the Facebook page associated with the pre-denominational Christian ministry "Warriors for Christ," an organization that opposes homosexuality and abortion, on grounds that it violated its community standards on bullying and hate speech.

Warriors for Christ, a West Virginia-based ministry that stands unapologetically opposed to all sinful behavior, no longer has access to its main Facebook page that had over 225,000 followers.

The main Warriors for Christ Facebook page, which is often used to post memes that lash out against society's embrace of things like LGBT rights and abortion, and is used to facilitate the organization's video ministry led by Pastor Rich Penkoski, was initially removed by the social media giant on Dec. 29.

Although the Facebook page was reinstated on Jan. 2 after an online petition was launched calling for Facebook to republish the page, Facebook administrators again took the Warriors for Christ page down last Friday.

Penkoski said in an interview with The Christian Post on Monday that his organization's Christian beliefs are being censored by Facebook because a number of LGBT activists who follow Warriors for Christ on social media had lodged complaints.
"We can't even use the term 'LGBT' in any context whatsoever or else it immediately gets flagged and banned. If we type those four letters out in our page, it gets removed," Penkoski said.
As there have been a number of Warriors for Christ's Facebook posts and videos that have been removed by Facebook, Penkoski said that other posts that have been removed included ones that displayed the organization's opposition to abortion.
"We count our posts on the page. Out of 3,000 posts, less than 3 percent had to with LGBT issues," Penkoski explained, adding that the majority of the counseling work his ministry does is to help reconcile marriages impacted by adultery.
"Yet, homosexuality is the focus that everyone keeps talking about with us. We talk about abortion. We talk about adultery. We talk about fornication. Nobody ever talks about that stuff," he added. "When Facebook pulled our page [for the first time], we were actually counseling with a young woman who was suicidal."
While Penkoski said he did not receive an explanation the first time the page was unpublished on Dec. 29, he says he did receive an email from Facebook explaining why the page was removed on Jan. 5 and left with no way to appeal the decision.
"Your Page 'Warriors for Christ' has been removed for violating our Terms of Use. A Facebook Page is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes. Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening or obscene are not allowed," the email reads. 
"We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual. If your Page was removed for any of the above reasons, it will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook's features could result in the permanent loss of your account."
Christian Post article continues here

Pastor Andrew Brunson Marks 50th Birthday in Turkish Prison, Shares Biggest Fears in Letter


By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post


American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who's been held in a Turkish prison since October 2016 after he was falsely accused by the government of having links with a terror group, has shared some of his biggest fears in a letter as he marks his 50th birthday as a hostage in prison.
"I am deeply grateful to all who have prayed for me. This trial — time in prison — has stretched me far more than I ever would have imagined. I have been very weak, had many doubts, felt very alone. I know that God's grace is sustaining me, even when I do not feel that grace, and I know that the prayers of God's people are surrounding me and giving strength," begins Brunson's letter, shared by his wife in a Middle East Concern article on Tuesday.
The pastor, who formally led Izmir Resurrection Church and served the Turkish people for years before his sudden arrest, added: "One of my big fears has been that I will be forgotten in prison."
"Thank you for not forgetting! It is a great encouragement to know there are people praying for me — it reminds me that I am not alone, and that I need to stand firm, with my face pointed in God's direction always. Thank you for standing with me in this most difficult time," he wrote.
Watchdog groups, such as the American Center for Law and Justice, have insisted that Brunson is innocent of the terror charges and that he is being used by Turkish authorities as a political pawn.

In September, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan suggested that a deal can be made to release Brunson if the U.S. hands over Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania who Erdogan accused of staging the attempted coup against his government in July 2016.

Back in October, two commissioners appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom traveled to Turkey to meet with the pastor.

USCIRF Vice Chairwomen Sandra Jolley and Kristina Arriaga visited Brunson at the Kiriklar Prison in Izmir, urging the Turkish government to release him without delay.
"He lives in a world of psychic and physical dislocation," Jolley said in a statement. "Despite a public veneer of a legal process, the truth is Pastor Brunson has had no due process, no true information about the charges against him, unreliable court dates, and no idea when he ever again will see his children or his country."
The ACLJ noted that Brunson marked his 50th birthday on Wednesday, being forced to spend another year separated from his wife and family, who are living in America.
"Pastor Andrew remains in great danger. He should be spending this day celebrating with loved ones; instead he finds himself languishing in a Turkish prison trapped in a political nightmare," the law group urged.
"He's been forced to endure unimaginable loneliness, missing birthdays, holidays, and even his daughter's wedding day. It's time for him to come home."
An ACLJ petition in support of Brunson has been signed close to 400,000 times.