Open Doors USA Reacts to Pastor Brunson’s Freedom

David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, reacts to reports that Andrew Brunson, an American pastor previously jailed in Turkey, will be freed in the near future: 

"Open Doors USA is relieved to hear of Pastor Andrew Brunson's release from house arrest to freedom. Turkey has done the right thing in allowing him to return to his home country. I applaud President Trump for the unrelenting pressure his administration applied to Turkey on this matter, in part through tariffs and sanctions. The president has rightly recognized that economic leverage can help bring positive change for human rights and can convey a powerful message of solidarity with oppressed religious minorities, especially persecuted Christians. In this case, it worked and was helpful in the release of an American Christian. 

"Pastor Brunson was wrongly imprisoned for his faith and work as a Christian pastor. Turkey's latest attack on faith, which underscores why the Open Doors World Watch List ranks it as the 31st most dangerous place to be Christian, is a clear message that religious minorities are increasingly imperiled in Turkey. 

"Pastor Brunson's case serves a reminder to us all that tens of thousands of Christians worldwide remain in prison simply because of their faith. Open Doors will continue to advocate for religious freedom around the world, and I urge others to join in the fight. Everyone should have the opportunity to choose their faith or no faith. As a lead indicator of a country's stability, freedom of religion benefits more than religious adherents—it benefits an entire nation, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should recognize this fact more clearly today than before."

About Open Doors USA

For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit