Pastor Brunson case increased ‘hate speech’ against Turkey’s Protestants – report

Malatya’s Kurtulus (Salvation) Church posted this message on the broken glass after an attacker heaved a brick through the church’s display window on November 24, 2017:  “’Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.’ – Jesus Christ.” (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Turkey’s high-profile criminal case against Protestant pastor Andrew Brunson has triggered a significant increase in public hate speech against the nation’s small Protestant community, creating what its church leaders last week called a ‘climate of insecurity’ for its congregations and individual members. According to the Turkish Association of Protestant Churches’ . . . Read More

UK parliamentary group calls out 27 countries for ‘significant’ religious freedom violations

A church in Bartella, a town near the Iraqi city of Mosul, after Islamic State militants left the area in October 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
A “Commentary on the Current State of Freedom of Religion or Belief” presented by a group of British parliamentarians today, 10 December, highlights 27 countries where people’s religious freedom has been denied and abused in the past year. The report, presented by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International . . . Read More

70 years since universal declaration, human rights ‘ignored and abused all over the world’

Ahok protests
Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, 10 December, rights group ADF International has called for “recommitment” to the founding principles, which it says are being “consistently ignored and abused … all over the world”. Chief among those rights, ADF notes, is the . . . Read More

Turkey’s Protestant Christians ‘feel stronger’ after trauma of Brunson case

Soner Tufan with Andrew Brunson on the evening of the 12 October 2018 trial
A spokesman for Turkey’s Protestant Christians declared yesterday that his country’s tiny Christian community has “emerged stronger” from the high-profile trauma of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson’s highly contested imprisonment and trial. The US pastor’s two-year ordeal culminated in a Turkish court’s decision on 12 October for his release and departure . . . Read More

Andrew Brunson’s legal appeal sent to Turkey’s highest court

Andrew Brunson’s legal appeal sent to Turkey’s highest court
Jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson’s lawyer has filed a formal appeal before the Turkish Constitutional Court to overturn two lower court refusals to release his client from house arrest. The 10-page petition, studied by World Watch Monitor, called for “urgent” and “corrective” action by Turkey’s highest court to set free . . . Read More

Key witness testimony against Brunson refuted by Bloomberg

Key witness testimony against Brunson refuted by Bloomberg
A hard-hitting investigative report by Bloomberg has targeted an unsubstantiated conspiracy link forged by Turkish prosecutors between jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson and Mormon missionaries. The alleged complicity between Brunson and an American Mormon neighbour living near to each other in the Alsancak district of Izmir features prominently in the . . . Read More

Turkish-US officials ‘cautiously optimistic’ of Brunson’s release

Andrew Brunson (Getty)
Both Turkish and US government officials have voiced cautious optimism that American pastor Andrew Brunson, jailed by Turkey for the past two years on terrorism allegations, could be released at his next trial hearing, set for 12 October. “It’s a possible outcome,” a Turkish official told the Wall Street Journal . . . Read More