The trial of an American pastor imprisoned in Turkey because of his faith resumes on Wednesday.
North Carolina native Andrew Brunson has been in Turkish jail since October 2016, and his trial has been marked by months of delays.
The pastor has had two hearings so far, which his supporters contend have been a sham.
Brunson has been charged with terrorism and espionage – despite his 23 years of service to the Turkish people.
In the face of the charges, Open Doors USA Content Specialist Lindy Lowry maintains that the real reason Brunson is being jailed in Turkey – a nation with a population that is 99 percent Muslim – simply because he is a Christian.
"In the 62-page indictment, Turkey calls 'Christianization' a 'hostile act’ – so they're literally persecuting him for what they call a' hostile act' called 'Christianization,'” Lowry impressed. “And then Pastor Brunson himself has written from his prison cell specifically that this is persecution. He said, 'Let it be clear, I am in prison not for anything I've done wrong, but because of who I am, [a] Christian pastor.' And so yes, this is straight up persecution."
Lowry hopes prayers from believers all around the world – along with political pressure from America and other countries – will lead Turkey to release the pastor soon.