Evangelical pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, former head of the Evangelical Church of the Resurrection in Izmir (Smyrna Diriliş Kilisesi), was arrested last week on suspicion of being part of the Hizmet organization of Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, expatriated in the USA since 1999 and indicated by Turkey as the instigator of the failed coup last July 15.
The Evangelical leader - refer Turkish media – is accused
by a witness of whom we do not know the name.
In mid-October, Andrew Craig Brunson had been
summoned along with his wife, Lyn Norine, by the immigration office,
that had initially announced their obligation to leave the country,
justifying the measure with the vague charges of having received funds
from abroad to finance missionary initiatives and putting at risk the
security of the country with their activities.
Last October 9, the
Turkish press reported that for the Evangelical pastor the expulsion
became arrest, after a secret witness accused him of belonging to the
so-called FETUS (Turkish acronym for "Fethullahnista terrorist
organization" definition with which pro-government Turkish authorities
indicate the Gulen’s network).
The restrictive measures which in recent months have affected several
evangelical leaders operating in Turkey should be contextualized in the
current political and social phase experienced by the Country, where
cleansing campaigns and mass arrests are still taking place aimed at
sectors considered responsible of the failed coup of 15 July.