ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMESBLACK MOUNTAIN – American pastor Andrew Brunson said charges against him are “shameful and disgusting” as his trial on accusations of espionage and helping a terrorist organization resumed Monday in Turkey.

Two new secret witnesses testified against Brunson, according to the office of Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who is pushing for Brunson’s release. Brunson, a missionary from Black Mountain, denies the charges against him.

Monday’s testimony came as pressure for Turkey to let Brunson go increased in Washington and internationally.

On Friday, a bipartisan group of 165 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 50 members of the European parliament wrote separate letters to Erdogan criticizing Turkey’s handling of the Brunson case.

The American letter was the result of an effort led by 10th District U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-Lincoln, and 4th District U.S. Rep. David Price, D-Orange.

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It’s not every day a local person captures the eyes of the world, but such is the case with Reverend Andrew Brunson of Black Mountain. You may have heard that this gentleman has become a retaliatory target for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. These are tough days for Reverend Burnson and Monday brought another trial date fraught with intrigue and discouragement.

We’re sharing this with Buncombe Republicans and our partners in good governance for two reasons: (1) This gentleman needs your prayers and support and (2) to note the proactive engagement of Senator Tillis and Representative McHenry in trying to aid Reverend Brunson.

We applaud them both and add a note of thanks to Congressman Meadows for joining with Congressman McHenry’s support letter initiative. Importantly, President Trump is equally involved in this matter.

Why is their engagement important? Because Edogan is facing an American leadership that is not responding well to his attempts to manipulate and bully. In contrast to past years, we are fully involved, not backing down and unwilling to play nice with people who are playing bad.

There’s something to be proud of in all this – and we wanted to bring that to your attention. It heralds a better day for America’s beacon of light.

The President’s decision today to stop upholding a shamefully hollow/dishonest Iranian nuclear arms agreement puts an exclamation point on a fact – America’s leadership is back in the real world…

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

Winston Churchill

 

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