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A Christian organization that works to shed light on persecuted Christians around the world is urging people to pray for a pastor that goes to trial today.

Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) says that Pastor Andrew Brunson will enter a Turkish courtroom to be tried on charges of espionage and terrorism.

pastorandrew2Pastor Andrew Brunson was imprisoned for 17 months before being charged with any crime (Supplied/ACLJ)If Brunson is convicted of the charges he could face 35 years in prison.

VOM says that "Brunson's only 'crime' is that for 23 years he and his wife, Norine, have been sharing the gospel with the people of Turkey."

The charges against Brunson stem from accusations that he is linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK is a Kurdish militant group that was behind a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Brunson's wife has told news agencies that he is not connected to the PKK and is a peaceful, loving man.

The 50-year-old Brunson is originally from North Carolina. However, he, his wife, and their children have lived in Turkey for the last 23 years.

The Evangelical pastor was arrested in October of 2016 and has remained in prison since then while awaiting trial. According to the American Center for Law and Justice, an USA-based Christian organization, Brunson was not charged after being imprisoned for 17 months. The organization also says that at the time of his arrest he was in the midst of applying for permanent residence status in Turkey.

 

 

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