- The Washington Times - Monday, October 14, 2019

Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who was held captive in Turkey sparking a row between that country and the U.S., will deliver the opening prayer in the Senate on Tuesday.

Sen. Thom Tillis announced the move Monday afternoon.

Mr. Brunson’s appearance comes almost a year to the day from his release from custody in Turkey, where had run a church for more than two decades until his 2016 arrest.

He was charged with terrorism offenses — the government apparently believed he was supportive of a rebellious Turkish cleric — and in 2018 was sentenced to three years in prison, but was released the same day, after intense pressure by President Trump and other American officials.

Mr. Trump and Turkey’s leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are now feuding again. Mr. Trump last week announced withdrawal of U.S. forces from a region in Syria and green-lighted a Turkish military offensive, only to have second thoughts and announce he was readying crippling economic sanctions on Turkey for its onslaught.

Mr. Brunson, meanwhile, is out with a new book, “God’s Hostage,” detailing his efforts to evangelize Turkey and his time in prison.

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