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Advocate for Pastor Andrew Brunson Compares Turkey to Roman Empire Under Nero

Pastor Andrew Brunson (ACLJ)

Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, is a no-nonsense lobbyist faithfully advocating for the release of pastor Andrew Brunson who's been imprisoned in Turkey since October 2016.

Creech says Brunson's case boils down to religious liberty in the world.

"The accusation against him claims he is 'dividing and separating (Turkey), by means of Christianization,' and that his ministry is considered 'an agent of unconventional warfare' beneath the 'mask of an evangelical church pastor,'" Creech explained, according to a news release from the Christian Action League. This is no different than when the Emperor Nero claimed the Christians burned Rome."

In March 2018, Turkish authorities indicted Brunson for allegedly helping to arrange a July 2016 coup that threatened Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's leadership.

The 62-page indictment also charges Brunson, who had served openly as a known Christian pastor in Turkey for the past 23 years, with committing an act of terrorism by spreading the Christian faith in the majority-Muslim country, according to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

In an email to CBN News, the American Center for Law and Justice, a non-profit legal organization also advocating for the release of Brunson, said the indictment "provided no evidence regarding criminal action against Pastor Brunson, but was rather replete with hearsay from secret witnesses."

Brunson has denied all charges. He faces a 35-year prison sentence. His trial continues July 18.

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