aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Turkish President Offers Prisoner Exchange: U.S. Pastor for Muslim Cleric

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Sep 29
  • Comments

Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan has suggested a prisoner trade-off with the U.S. Turkey has been holding American pastor Andrew Brunson since October 2016 and Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen has been living in Pennsylvania.

According to The Christian Post, Gulen fled to the U.S. after being accused of spearheading a coup against Erdogan’s government, which took place in July 2016. Two hundred fifty people lost their lives in the coup.

Brunson, who was working in Turkey as a missionary, was detained also in relation to the coup and accused of being a part of Gulen’s network.

"'Give us the pastor back,' they say. You have one pastor as well. Give him (Gulen) to us," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara. "Then we will try him (Brunson) and give him to you."

“The (pastor) we have is on trial. Yours is not; he is living in Pennsylvania. You can give him easily. You can give him right away,” he added.

The U.S. has maintained that Brunson has done nothing wrong and has been trying to get him released. It is yet unclear whether the Trump administration will respond to Erdogan’s suggestion of a prisoner exchange.


Publication date: September 29, 2017