Pas. Brunson Freed!
Pastor Andrew Brunson was freed this morning after 2 years in a Turkish jail under false charges of terrorism.
At a hearing this morning (October 12), prosecution witnesses recanted their accusations against Pas. Brunson. The court found him guilty of terrorism and espionage. He was sentenced to over 3 years in prison then released for time served and good behavior.
According to news reports, the U.S. and Turkey agreed to a deal during the UN General Assembly in September. The U.S. offered to reduce sanctions against Turkey if it would reduce charges against Pas. Brunson to allow the court to release him.
He is expected to be on a plane back to the U.S. soon.
We praise God for this great news! He frees the captives!
Pray for Asia Bibi
But in Pakistan, radical Islamists have threatened to kill Supreme Court justices if Asia Bibi is freed. The mother of five has spent 10 years in jail, accused of blasphemy over a disagreement when she gave water to a Muslim woman who refused it, saying it was unclean because Asia, a Christian, had touched it.
The Pakistan Supreme Court heard her appeal on Monday (Oct 8), and said it would “reserve judgment” for several days or weeks.
The Islamic party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) threatened the justices in a press conference on YouTube, saying the justices would meet a “horrible” end if Asia Bibi receives clemency, reported AFP. The group planned a rally for today to demand Asia Bibi be hanged.
The Red Mosque, another Islamic group, asked the Supreme Court that, if Asia Bibi is released, she be banned from leaving Pakistan. “Western forces are trying to get Asia Bibi out of the country but she should be hanged,” the petitioner, Hafiz Ihtesham Ahmed, told AFP.
Two government officials have already been assassinated for defending her against these false accusations. Christians in Pakistan live in constant fear of false accusations of blasphemy, which carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment or death.
Pray for Asia Bibi. And for God to empower Pakistan’s officials to “overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21b)