Freed rev. prays with President
A faithful American pastor freed after two years in a Turkish prison dropped to a knee in the Oval Office on Saturday and prayed with President Trump.
After thanking Trump and a host of dignitaries for his longawaited release, the Rev. Andrew Brunson (bottom with Trump), surrounded by family and White House staff, knelt beside the President and prayed for his administration, the country and prisoners around the world.
“I ask that you give him wisdom on how to lead this country into righteousness,” Brunson, who had pastored a church in Turkey for 20 years, said in his prayer. “I ask you to protect him from slander from enemies. Fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance.”
Trump had joked moments earlier that he probably needed the prayer more than anyone else in the room.
Brunson, 50, who lived in Turkey with his wife and three children, was arrested in 2016 by the government, which had accused him of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a 2016 failed coup.
In July, he was released from prison for health reasons and moved to house arrest until his trial. A few weeks later, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over his continued detention.
A Turkish court sentenced Brunson on Friday to three years behind bars, but freed him because of the time he had already spent in detention.
“From a Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours, that's not bad,” Trump said.
The issue strained TurkeyU.S. relations, but Trump expressed hope the two countries could get back on track.