A Christian pastor who had been detained in Turkey for 21 months has been released hours after President Trump and Vice President Pence laid down the law and threatened to impose a new “harsh policy” and sanctions on the nation, according to Reuters.
The sudden decision by Turkey to release Andrew Brunson, the Christian pastor from North Carolina, proves yet again that President Trump’s direct and confrontational style in dealing with recalcitrant foreign nations yields better results than former President Obama’s weak, fawning and servile manner.
Andrew Brunson, who is from North Carolina, was released from the Turkish prison on Wednesday, just hours after President Trump demanded Turkey release him. Describing the pastor as a “great Christian, family man, and a wonderful human being,” President Trump said he was “suffering greatly” and “should be released immediately.”
Many are crediting Trump sand Pence for his release from prison, as the White House threatened to impose a hard new policy on Turkey if the American pastor was not released.
Turkey had grown accustomed to ignoring American demands under President Obama. The fact the Islamic nation changed course within 24 hours of President Trump’s demand and released Pastor Brunson provides further proof that foreign nations respect and fear the United States again.
UILMF reports: Brunson, who has worked in Turkey for more than 20 years, was detained on Oct. 2016 and charged with helping a group the Turkish government claims was connected to a failed military coup that year.
He is required to wear an electronic monitor on his ankle and cannot leave the country, but he is no longer stuck in a detention facility. Turkey allowing Brunson to leave detention is considered by many to be a concession and attempt to quell tensions with America.
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threaten to impose “large sanctions” on its NATO ally Turkey if the country does not release American pastor Andrew Brunson who is currently under house arrest https://t.co/zkNdlbeJjj pic.twitter.com/0gBE3AYlS1
— CNN (@CNN) July 26, 2018
Brunson was released on Wednesday, but only after the U.S. threatened to unveil a new tough policy against them.
Just one day before his release, Brunson’s daughter, Jacqueline Furnari, had spoken tearfully to the Ministerial gathering about her father’s plight and how badly she prayed for him to return home:
“[He] has been permanently changed by this experience. Even when this ordeal is over, he will never be the same person that he was.”
“In his trial last week, my father forgave the witnesses who falsely testified against him, saying, ‘My faith teaches me to forgive, so I forgive those who testified against me. It is a privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ.’”
The next day, her father was reunited with her mother in their Izmir home. And thanks to Trump and Pence dropping the hammer on Turkey, Brunson is closer than ever to be released back home.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted that the U.S. intended to impose substantial sanctions on Turkey in retaliation for Brunson’s imprisonment, which the administration has said it views as being political.
Here’s what Trump said:
“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long-time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man, and wonderful human being.”
The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
Pence followed Trump’s lead, issuing a statement of his own condemning Turkey:
“To President Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the president of the United States of America: Release Pastor Andrew Brunson now or be prepared to face the consequences.”
“If Turkey does not take immediate action to free this innocent man of faith and send him home to America. The United States will impose significant sanctions on Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free.”
The president has made it clear several times that this father and husband should be brought back home to his family, and his threat of unveiling a “harsh policy” and substantial sanctions against Turkey helped get one step closer to that goal.