The Turkish government has released American pastor Andrew Brunson after more than two years in custody.
Brunson was arrested in the aftermath of a failed coup on the Turkish government and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Brunson had nothing to do with the coup. At the time, he had been in the country for over 20 years serving as a pastor and was taken as a political prisoner.
There had been several times over the past year where Brunson’s release seemed possible, but the Turkish government and courts were resistant. In July, Brunson was allowed to go on house arrest.
Today, he was convicted of terrorism charges but allowed to be released based on time served. The 50 year old pastor had faced 35 years in prison.
Brunson’s release will allow him to leave Turkey and head back to the United States.
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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.