18 July 2018: ‘The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today condemned a Turkish court’s decision to return Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American citizen and leader of a small Protestant Christian church, to prison to await a fourth hearing on October 12, 2018. Pastor Brunson has been unjustly detained in Turkey since October 7, 2016 on false terrorism and espionage related charges. USCIRF Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga attended today’s hearing in Aliaga, Turkey. USCIRF has condemned the charges against Pastor Brunson and has called for his immediate release.
“The government of Turkey continues to make a mockery of justice in its treatment of Pastor Brunson,” said Vice Chair Arriaga. “Today I was hoping to see the judge order his complete release and put an end to the miscarriage of justice that Pastor Brunson’s entire case represents. Turkish authorities still have not provided one good reason for depriving Pastor Brunson of his liberties. The Trump Administration and the Congress should continue to apply pressure, including using targeted sanctions against officials connected to this case, until Pastor Brunson is released.”
For nearly two hours during the hearing, former church members testified against Pastor Brunson, making vague, unsubstantiated accusations. When the judge asked Brunson to reply to the witnesses, he said: “My faith teaches me to forgive, so I forgive those who testified against me.” Only one witness from the defense was allowed to testify.’
In responding to the baseless accusations against him from the Turkish congregation he serviced for 22 years, this pastor of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church didn’t attack his accusers; he forgave them. He is living the Gospel, when you or I would scream at the injustice we face.
Where does that come from? How can you or I have that boldness? In Acts 4, as Peter and John face the civil, academic and religious leaders of their day, God teaches us:
- Boldness Comes From Being With Jesus (v13-17)
- Obey God Rather Than Being Silent About Jesus (v18-22)
- How to Grow in Boldness (v13, 24)
Sunday 22nd July 2018
- What don’t you need to be bold (v13)?
- Boldness: being ______ in the face of fear.
- Boldness makes us p________ & c_______ .
- How should we think of rulers (Rom 13:1-7)?
- When shouldn’t a Christian obey (v19)?
- Can I disobey unfair laws? Yes/No
- Why must we speak in Jesus’ name (Mtt 28:18-20)?
- Could the Council stop Peter & John from speaking in Jesus’ name (v21)? Yes/No
- How can reading the Bible make us bold (v13)?
- What should prayer focus on to grow in boldness (v24)? Who God _______ and what He has _______
- A question I have:
- A truth to share: