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Muslims in Turkey showing interest in Jesus amid Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown, Andrew Brunson says

WASHINGTON — Evangelical missionary Andrew Brunson said Thursday that the authoritarian crackdown and struggling economy in Turkey are causing more Muslim Turks to show interest in the Bible at a time in which the “storm clouds” of Christian persecution seem to be forming. 

Brunson, a North Carolina native who spent two decades planting churches in Turkey before spending two years in prison on trumped-up terrorism charges, expressed deep concern about the future of Turkey’s small Protestant population during a hearing hosted by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Capitol Hill. 

“There is still a high degree of freedom for Christians relative to other Muslim countries in the region, but I am concerned that all the signs point to this changing soon,” said Brunson, who was released from prison last October after months of pressure from the U.S. government.

In the midst of a massive government crackdown in the wake of the 2016 failed coup attempt against the Erdogan government, Brunson explained that the regime has accelerated the expulsion and deportation of foreign Christian leaders. 

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