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U.S. Pastor Stranded in India after Arrest on Declarations Charge

India (Morning Star News) – A U.S. pastor attending a Sunday School conference in India is stranded in the country after he was arrested for failing to report money he was carrying.

Pastor Bryan Nerren, 58, was traveling to Sikkim state in northeastern India for a Sunday school conference along with two U.S. pastors on Oct. 5 when they were detained at the Bagdogra airport, the closest airport to Sikkim. While the other two pastors were let go, Pastor Nerren was arrested when authorities alleged that he had violated the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the Customs Act by not declaring the cash that he was carrying for his trip and for conferences in India and Nepal.

“They showed me an email from the Delhi office directing them to detain and arrest me for breaking the law,” Pastor Nerren told Morning Star News. “I told them repeatedly that no one has told me that I need to declare this money. Not even the customs people [in Delhi] who interrogated us.

“I also told them that so far I have not stepped out of the airport onto Indian soil, and that I can go back to Delhi, fill in the necessary forms and come back to Bagdogra, or I can fill the forms right here, but they did not listen. They did not even deport me, but arrested me.”

Pastor Nerren was scheduled to visit Sikkim for four days and then go to Nepal for another nine days, but following his release on bail on Oct. 11 he is awaiting trial in Siliguri, a border city in the state of West Bengal, India. The Siliguri Civil and Criminal Court imposed a travel ban on him and confiscated his passport and travel money on Oct. 6.

Foreign nationals bringing foreign currency into India over a prescribed limit are required to fill in a form to declare it. If the value of the foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank notes or travelers cheques exceeds US$10,000, or its equivalent and/or the value of foreign currency notes exceeds US$5,000 or its equivalent, a form has to be filled to declare it.

The three U.S. pastors had arrived in Delhi, India in the early morning of Oct. 5 at around 1:30 a.m. by KLM from Amsterdam and had proceeded to obtain visas on arrival.

“I was not given any form by KLM in the incoming flight to Delhi that spelled out that I had to declare the currency I was bringing in,” Pastor Nerren told Morning Star News. “No one questioned us while we cleared immigration.”

After clearing immigration, Pastor Nerren was detained by customs officials who, during a security check for his connecting flight to Bagdogra, discovered the money that he was carrying for the conference and their trip.

“They detained us till after 4 a.m. and questioned me about the money I was carrying in my backpack and some in my travel pouch. I was not hiding that money nor concealing it,” he said. “Three investigators asked me questions for over an hour. They also questioned us separately. They asked me if I was a Christian and I answered in affirmative. They asked me the reason for carrying the money, and I truthfully answered that it was for a children’s conference and for my Nepal trip. Then they asked me if the conference was for Christians or Hindus and I told them that it would be a Christian conference.”

After questioning Pastor Nerren and the two others, the investigators cleared them and allowed them to board their flight to Bagdogra, he said.

“The investigator told me that he was convinced by the answers that I had given, and that we were free to go to Bagdogra. They shook our hands, smiled and let us go,” he said.

On landing at Bagdogra airport, however, two customs officials carrying Pastor Nerren’s photograph on their phones detained him, he said. They confiscated his passport and the travel money, arrested him and took him into custody. The other two pastors were let go, and it was then that officials showed him the email from Delhi ordering his arrest.

He was arrested under sections 104 and 135 of the Customs Act of India for failing to declare funds he was carrying.

Forbidden Contact with Embassy

After his arrest, he was not allowed to meet with anyone, including personnel from the U.S. embassy, he said.

The two other pastors were the ones who informed his family in the United States that he had been arrested and jailed.

“I suffer from sleep apnea and use a C-PAP machine to sleep, without which I can even suffocate and die during my sleep,” he said. “When I told the police officers about my condition and that I need the machine, they took me from one police station to the other so that my machine could be plugged in, but it was not possible. So they took me to the emergency room of the Medical Doctor’s Training Hospital, where finally I could use the machine.”

He faced some ill treatment at the small hospital, he said.

“When the doctor learned that I was a Christian, he spit on the ground and only then took a look at me,” Pastor Nerren said.

He added that nearly 20 people died during his nine-hour stay at the hospital.

“The patient whose bed was given to me soon passed away,” he said. “Another person who had already died was there in the room, and no one knew it till it was discovered by cleaning staff of the hospital. In all, three people in the room where I was died.”

After his first night at the hospital, Pastor Nerren was moved to the Siliguri Correctional Home, where he spent the next five days and nights. All jails in the state of West Bengal have been renamed as Correctional Homes.

During the six days he was in jail, he was taken to the hospital twice more for checkups. After six days in jail he was released on bail on Oct. 11, but under a travel ban.

Tapan Kumar Choudhary, the attorney for Pastor Nerren, told Morning Star News that the bail conditions were harsh.

“Pastor Bryan was arrested and presented before the court on Oct. 6 and was subsequently granted bail, but the bail conditions were harsh and required two bail bonds of 1 Lakh [100,000] rupees [US$1,412] each or local land papers in lieu of the bonds,” Choudhary told Morning Star News. “This was again challenged by me in the upper court on Oct. 9, and the bail was granted on Oct. 10 with relaxed sureties. The court this time asked only for two bail bonds of 10,000 rupees [US$141] each, and hence he was released on bail on Oct. 11.”

The pastor’s next court date is scheduled for Dec. 12, he said. His attorney has filed an application to the Customs department for the release of his passport and money, he said.

Pastor Nerren is staying with friends at an undisclosed location.

He first visited South Asia in 2002 with a trip to Nepal, where he started the Asian Children Education Fellowship, which has trained more than 20,000 leaders in Nepal, according to its website. The ACEF has also engaged in community development and social work digging community wells, holding medical clinics, and assisting in providing uniforms and books to over “2,500 children who would have never had the opportunity to attend schools.”

A native of Shelbyville, Tennessee, Pastor Nerren leads the House of Prayer Church, part of the International House of Prayer Ministries, along with his wife Rhonda. He has been to India three times before in the last 15 years. It was his involvement with Nepali churches that brought him to India this time.

His wife said in an Oct. 29 American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) update that he has done nothing wrong.

“His only crime is living out his steadfast love for Jesus. He’s my best friend, and I need him home,” she said. “My special needs daughter needs her daddy home. My son and his family want their dad and Grandpa ‘Popeye’ home. Please pray for our family. Pray for the hearts of the officials who have the power to give him back his passport and let him come back to us.”

India is ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position has been worse each year since Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.

Turkish Court Rules To Free Andrew Brunson

Andrew Brunson released by Turkish Court

(Voice of the Persecuted) A Turkish court has ordered the release of US Pastor Andrew Brunson. After two long years of detention on false charges, Andrew will be coming home and able to dance at his daughter’s wedding. Brunson and his wife, originally from North Carolina, moved to Turkey 23 years ago. Andrew led the Izmir Resurrection Church with a congregation of about 25. The couple had raised their family of three children in Turkey and had applied for permanent residency.

Case background: On Oct. 7, the couple was called to a local police station never imagining there was anything to be worried about. They went to the police station thinking they were finally approved for residency. At the station, they were initially told to leave the country because Andrew was accused of receiving funds from abroad to fund missionary initiatives that Turkey claimed would endanger the security of the country with their activities. Later, the Turkish press reported that the decree of expulsion for the Evangelical pastor had been transformed into arrest after a secret witness accused him of having ties with a terror organization. Later, more secret witnesses accused him of espionage. Many believed he was a political pawn used to force the US to extradite Fethullah Gülen who is considered an enemy of the Turkish government and living in self-exile in Pennsylvania for years.

Andrew spent much of his time in a cell with limited contact and his health deteriorated. Andrew lost 50 lbs., told he was forgotten and suffered from depression. The only thing that sustained him was his faith in God and love for his family.

Trial hearings: During the last 3 trials, Andrew shared his love for Christ and the Turkish people. He firmly denied all accusations against him and said, “My service that I have spent my life on, has now turned upside down. I was never ashamed to be a server of Jesus, but these claims are shameful and disgusting.” After the last hearing in July, he was taken back to prison, but due to health concerns he was released under house arrest and put under a travel ban. At today’s hearing, the Turkish prosecutor asked that Brunson be given a 10 year prison sentence,

During the today’s hearing it was reported that three witnesses withdrew their statements against Brunson after reports that the U.S. and Turkey were negotiating a secret deal for his release. Another report shared of the four witnesses who had earlier testified against Brunson, one claimed reading the allegations in the news, another said he was misunderstood by the judge, and the last two claimed that they first heard the allegations from one another. While the trial was ongoing, Former Turkish member of parliament Aykan Erdemir said that witnesses who have appeared at the hearing are now changing their testimony. This would clear the way for the judge to dismiss the case. Turkey has been suffering by the U.S. economic sanctions placed on the country when Brunson wasn’t released at the last hearing. Turkish agencies began reporting his release would be a partial unblocking of the terrible U.S.-Turkish relationship.

Today, Andrew told the court, “I am and innocent man. I love Jesus. I love Turkey.” Witnesses at the hearing shared that Pastor Brunson wept when the court ruling was announced. We expect many happy tears are flowing with his in the Body of Christ, globally.

Homecoming: The U.S. military is expected to fly Andrew back to the United States., U.S. officials told Reuters that Brunson could return to the United States as soon as Friday. A Pentagon spokeswoman told Reuters that the expected plan involved flying Brunson through Germany on the way back to America but did not specify the timing.

Our Victory in Christ

Giving God all the glory, Christians around the world are rejoicing and singing praise to the Lord for this victory. Andrew’s release is an answer to many fervent prayers. We are thankful to all those who allowed the Lord to guide them for his release. Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch would like to thank those who prayed on yesterday’s prayer conference call event for Andrew. What beautiful prayer call full of joy and anticipation for what the Lord is doing. It felt more like a family reunion, in love and agreement, with some we’ve never met. The top key words throughout the day were, forward and dance. Lois Kanalos of Voice of the Persecuted said, “I kept seeing Andrew dancing in the courtroom like David for the Lord! I imagine he did, if only in his heart. Now he and the church in Turkey can move FORWARD…onward soldiers!”

We will continue to pray for Andrew’s transition and healing from his ordeal. Let us also pray for the church in Turkey to be bold and a shining light in the darkness.

Now in this present age or later in glory…victory!
(Romans 8: 26-39) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,

“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Breaking: Pastor Andrew Brunson Moved From Turkish Prison To House Arrest

(Voice of the Persecuted) Due to health condition, the Turkish court has ruled to allow American pastor, Andrew Brunson to be moved from jail to house arrest. The court ordered that Brunson is banned from leaving Turkey as he waits out his trial to continue at his home in Izmir. In custody since 2016, Brunson was arrested for terror and espionage charges, which he strongly denies. Andrew faces up to 35 years in prison for “committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member and for espionage. All who know this gentle pastor call the trial a sham and the charges outlandish.

We can imagine the joy his family is feeling at this moment as they wait at the prison for his release. Let us lift up the Lord and give him praise for all He is doing in this case and Andrew’s life. May God heal him and give our brother strength. In Jesus holy name, all glory to God.

Join us as we continue to pray united on the prayer conference call for Andrew Brunson

(Voice of the Persecuted) Right now it’s 3:18 p.m. in Turkey. Andrew Brunson waits in his cell likely praying to our Lord about the continuance of court proceedings to be heard in his case, tomorrow. Join us as we continue on the prayer conference call for Andrew Brunson. We pray for strength and courage as Andrew faces the court officials and that the Lord be glorified through our brothers testimony. Join us on the call as we lift up this dear brother, along with all those suffering in persecution. We thank you, Lord for this wonderful opportunity to worship you and pray your heart united on this call!

Call details:

Location: Any location from your phone

When: Begins May 5, 2018 – May 6, 2018

Length of call: 24 Hours (Note: You’re not required to commit to 24 hours. Come on the call and pray as your time allows.)

Time of the Call:

9 p.m.- 9 p.m. Eastern time

8 p.m.-8 p.m.  Central time

7 p.m.-7 p.m.  Mountain time

6 p.m.-6 p.m. Pacific time

Call number: 712.775.7035
Access code: 281207#

PRINT PRAYER CALL FLYER: View and download printable PDF flyer here

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier.Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Available International Conference Call Numbers

Australia                                              +61 (0) 3 8672 0185

Austria                                                  +43 (0) 732 2781155

Belgium                                                +32 (0) 9 324 29 17

Brazil                                                     +55 61 4040-4314

Bulgaria                                                +359 (0) 2 495 1527

Canada                                                 (712) 775-7060

Chile                                                      +56 (0) 44 890 9161

China                                                     +86 (0) 510 6801 0117

Costa Rica                                            +506 4000 3885

Croatia                                                  +385 (0) 1 8000 065

Cyprus                                                  +357 77 788854

Czech                                                    +420 225 852 060

Denmark                                               +45 78 77 36 35

Dominican Republic                             (829) 999-2585

Estonia                                                 +372 614 8061

Finland                                                 +358 (0) 9 74790032

France                                                  +33 (0) 1 80 14 00 56

GCC/Arabian Peninsula                       +973 1656 8325

Georgia                                                +995 (0) 706 777 110

Germany                                             +49 (0) 89 143772955

Guatemala                                          +502 2458 1416

Hungary                                               +36 1 987 6821

Iceland                                                 +354 539 0323

Indonesia                                            +62 (0) 21 51388813

Ireland                                                  +353 (0) 1 437 0318

Israel                                                     +972 (0) 76-599-0026

Italy                                                       +39 06 8997 2187

Japan                                                    +81 (0) 3-5050-5075

Kenya                                                   +254 (0) 20 5231033

Latvia                                                    +371 67 881 516

Lithuania                                              +370 (8) 37 248962

Luxembourg                                        +352 20 30 10 03

Malaysia                                              +60 (0) 11-1146 0070

Mexico                                                 +52 (01) 899 274 5015

Netherlands                                       +31 (0) 6 35205061

Nigeria                                                  +234 (0) 1 440 5221

Norway                                                +47 21 93 53 35

Pakistan                                               +92 (0) 21 37130640

Panama                                                +507 838-7821

Poland                                                  +48 32 739 96 40

Portugal                                               +351 21 114 3145

Romania                                              +40 (0) 31 780 7760

Slovakia                                                +421 2 333 255 32

Slovenia                                               +386 (0) 1 828 03 25

South Africa                                         +27 (0) 87 825 0107

South Korea                                       +82 (0) 70-7686-0015

Spain                                                     +34 931 98 23 70

Sri Lanka                                              +94 (0) 11 5 322961

Sweden                                               +46 (0) 31 781 06 26

Switzerland                                        +41 (0) 43 550 70 55

Taiwan                                                  +886 (0) 985 646 917

Turkey                                                  +90 (0) 212 988 1713

Ukraine                                                +380 (0) 89 323 9978

United Kingdom                                 +44 (0) 330 606 0527

United States                                                (712) 775-7035

Vietnam                                                 +84 (0) 4 7108 0080

(Though not expected, due to circumstances beyond our control, connection may be lost. Simply call again to rejoin the call. Please let us know if you were unsuccessful getting on the call so we can address the issue with technical support.)

REMINDER: Invitation to pray united for Andrew Brunson on 24 hour prayer conference call begins Saturday evening

Brunson prison-turkey-1

via Ministries invite believers to unite on 24 hour prayer conference call for Andrew Brunson see link for full report 

8 Christian ministries have joined together to initiate and invite Christians to join on a 24 hour prayer conference call for an American pastor imprisoned for his faith in Turkey. “We feel an urgency to cover and lift Andrew in prayer before court proceedings continue in his trial next Monday, May 7th”, the ministry leaders said. The call will begin Saturday, May 5 at 9pm and will continue uninterrupted through Sunday, May 6 at 9pm (Call access information and details below). International callers are also encouraged to join.

UPDATE from the Brunson’s Facebook page (May 4, 2018):

Many important prayers have gone up, thank you so much! But…

THIS weekend is a time to simply worship at his footstool and call on the LORD MOST HIGH to come with his glory and to do spiritual battle for us. (There is a Friday evening through Monday evening fast – join in any way)

The Brunson’s are aware of the prayer call and thank you. Please share this call with your church and all those who will pray! 

 

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Location: Any location from your phone

When: Begins May 5, 2018 – May 6, 2018

Length of call: 24 Hours (Note: You’re not required to commit to 24 hours. Come on the call and pray as your time allows.)

Time of the Call:

9 p.m.- 9 p.m. Eastern time

8 p.m.-8 p.m.  Central time

7 p.m.-7 p.m.  Mountain time

6 p.m.-6 p.m. Pacific time

Call number: 712.775.7035
Access code: 281207#

PRINT PRAYER CALL FLYER: View and download printable PDF flyer here

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier.Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Available International Conference Call Numbers

(Note: If you will be using one of the call numbers below, you may experience issues in your country. If you are unable to connect, try using the VoIP dialer available at this link. Click on VoIP dialer, go to this number 712-775-7035 in the drop down menu—enter access code 281207 (do not add the # symbol)—enter your name and click on the ‘Place Call’ button.

Australia                                              +61 (0) 3 8672 0185

Austria                                                  +43 (0) 732 2781155

Belgium                                                +32 (0) 9 324 29 17

Brazil                                                     +55 61 4040-4314

Bulgaria                                                +359 (0) 2 495 1527

Canada                                                 (712) 775-7060

Chile                                                      +56 (0) 44 890 9161

China                                                     +86 (0) 510 6801 0117

Costa Rica                                            +506 4000 3885

Croatia                                                  +385 (0) 1 8000 065

Cyprus                                                  +357 77 788854

Czech                                                    +420 225 852 060

Denmark                                               +45 78 77 36 35

Dominican Republic                             (829) 999-2585

Estonia                                                 +372 614 8061

Finland                                                 +358 (0) 9 74790032

France                                                  +33 (0) 1 80 14 00 56

GCC/Arabian Peninsula                       +973 1656 8325

Georgia                                                +995 (0) 706 777 110

Germany                                             +49 (0) 89 143772955

Guatemala                                          +502 2458 1416

Hungary                                               +36 1 987 6821

Iceland                                                 +354 539 0323

Indonesia                                            +62 (0) 21 51388813

Ireland                                                  +353 (0) 1 437 0318

Israel                                                     +972 (0) 76-599-0026

Italy                                                       +39 06 8997 2187

Japan                                                    +81 (0) 3-5050-5075

Kenya                                                   +254 (0) 20 5231033

Latvia                                                    +371 67 881 516

Lithuania                                              +370 (8) 37 248962

Luxembourg                                        +352 20 30 10 03

Malaysia                                              +60 (0) 11-1146 0070

Mexico                                                 +52 (01) 899 274 5015

Netherlands                                       +31 (0) 6 35205061

Nigeria                                                  +234 (0) 1 440 5221

Norway                                                +47 21 93 53 35

Pakistan                                               +92 (0) 21 37130640

Panama                                                +507 838-7821

Poland                                                  +48 32 739 96 40

Portugal                                               +351 21 114 3145

Romania                                              +40 (0) 31 780 7760

Slovakia                                                +421 2 333 255 32

Slovenia                                               +386 (0) 1 828 03 25

South Africa                                         +27 (0) 87 825 0107

South Korea                                       +82 (0) 70-7686-0015

Spain                                                     +34 931 98 23 70

Sri Lanka                                              +94 (0) 11 5 322961

Sweden                                               +46 (0) 31 781 06 26

Switzerland                                        +41 (0) 43 550 70 55

Taiwan                                                  +886 (0) 985 646 917

Turkey                                                  +90 (0) 212 988 1713

Ukraine                                                +380 (0) 89 323 9978

United Kingdom                                 +44 (0) 330 606 0527

United States                                                (712) 775-7035

Vietnam                                                 +84 (0) 4 7108 0080

(Though not expected, due to circumstances beyond our control, connection may be lost. Simply call again to rejoin the call. Please let us know if you were unsuccessful getting on the call so we can address the issue with technical support.)

Ministries invite believers to unite on 24 hour prayer conference call for Andrew Brunson

Pastor Andrew Brunson imprisoned in Turkey

(Voice of the Persecuted) 8 Christian ministries have joined together to initiate and invite Christians to join on a 24 hour prayer conference call for an American pastor imprisoned for his faith in Turkey. “We feel an urgency to cover and lift Andrew in prayer before court proceedings continue in his trial next Monday, May 7th”, the ministry leaders said. The call will begin Saturday, May 5 at 9pm and will continue uninterrupted through Sunday, May 6 at 9pm (Call access information and details below). International callers are also encouraged to join.

Andrew Brunson, who pastored a church in Izmir, Turkey, was arrested shortly after the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. Brunson has been detained for 18 months. On Friday (Apr. 27), U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for Pastor Brunson’s release while speaking with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogluon. However, previous attempts made by American officials have been unsuccessful in securing his release. What should our response be about the persecution this pastor, our brother in Christ, is suffering?

In Hebrews 13:3 we’re asked, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” In this verse, those being described as in prison and being mistreated are Christians experiencing persecution for their faith. The verse also highlights the oneness we should feel as believers in the Body of Christ.

As the next court date draws near, let us not forget the importance of the call in Hebrews 13:3. Brothers and sisters, continue to remember our brother, Andrew Brunson, in our prayers. His family and also the thousands of brothers and sisters imprisoned for their faith throughout the world.

When one hears about the persecuted they may ask, “What can I do? I am only one person.” It’s simple, that person can pray. James reminds us that the prayer of a righteous person is very powerful and effective. (James 5:16).

Jesus says that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed we can move mountains. For nothing will be impossible for us (Matthew 17:20).

Imagine one person who is righteous and has faith as small as a mustard seed. What can that person accomplish in their prayers? Then imagine hundreds, if not thousands, of intercessors with that same mustard seed faith. What can they accomplish in Christ through their prayers?

Please join us, next weekend, as we come together believing and praying for the release of our brother Andrew. Come believing and praying for the global persecuted church while praying God will act on their behalf.

Just as a father hears and answers the cries of his child. Let us trust that God will do great things through our prayers, as he has many times in the past and still doing today.

“If only you would tear the heavens open and come down, so that mountains would quake at your presence—just as fire kindles brushwood, and fire boils water—to make your name known to your enemies, so that nations will tremble at your presence! When you did awesome works that we did not expect, you who came down, and the mountains quaked at your presence. From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened to, no eye has seen any God except you who acts on behalf of the one who waits for him.”  Isaiah 64:1-4 (CSB) (KJV version) BELIEVE!

UPDATE from the Brunson’s Facebook page (May 4, 2018):

Many important prayers have gone up, thank you so much! But…

THIS weekend is a time to simply worship at his footstool and call on the LORD MOST HIGH to come with his glory and to do spiritual battle for us. (There is a Friday evening through Monday evening fast – join in any way)

Please share this call with your church and all those who will pray!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Location: Any location from your phone

When: Begins May 5, 2018 – May 6, 2018

Length of call: 24 Hours (Note: You’re not required to commit to 24 hours. Come on the call and pray as your time allows.)

Time of the Call:

9 p.m.- 9 p.m. Eastern time

8 p.m.-8 p.m.  Central time

7 p.m.-7 p.m.  Mountain time

6 p.m.-6 p.m. Pacific time

Call number: 712.775.7035
Access code: 281207#

PRINT PRAYER CALL FLYER: View and download printable PDF flyer here

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier.Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Available International Conference Call Numbers

(Note: If you will be using one of the call numbers below, you may experience issues in your country. If you are unable to connect, try using the VoIP dialer available at this link. Click on VoIP dialer, go to this number 712-775-7035 in the drop down menu—enter access code 281207 (do not add the # symbol)—enter your name and click on the ‘Place Call’ button.

Australia                                              +61 (0) 3 8672 0185

Austria                                                  +43 (0) 732 2781155

Belgium                                                +32 (0) 9 324 29 17

Brazil                                                     +55 61 4040-4314

Bulgaria                                                +359 (0) 2 495 1527

Canada                                                 (712) 775-7060

Chile                                                      +56 (0) 44 890 9161

China                                                     +86 (0) 510 6801 0117

Costa Rica                                            +506 4000 3885

Croatia                                                  +385 (0) 1 8000 065

Cyprus                                                  +357 77 788854

Czech                                                    +420 225 852 060

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Critical time for Pastor Andrew Brunson, what we can do

Andrew Brunson imprisoned in Turkey

Andrew Brunson and his wife were originally from North Carolina. 23 years ago, they moved to Turkey’s third largest city where Andrew led the Izmir Resurrection Church with a congregation of about 25. The couple had raised their family of three children in Turkey and had applied for permanent residency. On Oct. 7, they were called to a local police station and never imagined there was anything to be worried about. They went to the police station thinking they were finally approved for residency.
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At the station, they were initially told to leave the country because Andrew was accused of receiving funds from abroad to fund missionary initiatives that Turkey claimed would endanger the security of the Country with their activities. Later, the Turkish press reported that the decree of expulsion for the Evangelical pastor had been transformed into arrest after a secret witness accused him of having ties with the Gulen Movement whom Turkey considers a terror organization. His wife was released on the Oct. 9, 2016, but Andrew spends 24 hours a day in a cell with limited human contact.
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Andrew has denied the charges, along with all who know him. He’s also lost 50 pounds since being incarcerated and hopes he won’t be forgotten.
His trial will be this coming Monday, April 16. Based on the charges, he could receive a prison sentence of 35 years.
His wife is asking Christians to please be in prayer for her dear husband.  Sharing her request again as we feel it’s important to join her at this critical moment.
“Today the Lord clearly showed me and another believer to pray for Andrew three times a day – morning, noon, evening. Like mealtimes. I have set the alarm on my phone. I would love for others to join this and pray for Andrew whenever you eat breakfast lunch and dinner – whatever time zone you are in!
As you pray three times a day… please pray that the cord around Andrew would be loosened/untied.
Although I don’t understand this completely, the Lord gave this very clearly so I am praying it by faith. Please join by faith that what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven. We are sooo grateful for you, our huge family in Christ.“ 
Please pray…….
— That God will bring Justice and vindication to our brother, Andrew, as Jesus promises in Luke 18.
— That truth will prevail in this case.
— That the judges will be impartial and honest. Not driven by a political agenda.
— That this trial will be open and international observers will be allowed to attend.
— That the Holy Spirit will give heavenly wisdom to Andrew’s attorneys and to Andrew himself.  That they will be able       to speak the truth that their enemies will not refute.
— That ultimately Andrew will be found not guilty and set free to rejoin his family.
— that Andrew’s family will experience comfort and the presence of Christ during this time of trial.
— That ultimately God’s will be done and he be glorified in this trial through our brother.
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I was reminded this morning that many are the afflictions of the righteous. But the Lord delivers him out of them all.  This marvelous promise is found in Psalm 34:19.  Let us pray this promise and other promises over our dear brother Andrew Brunson and his family. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  James 5:16
To the extent that I am known, I want to be known as a servant and lover of Jesus Christ…. I have prayed for this land and its people for many years,… for God to pour out great blessing… In my weakness, I pray daily for strength and courage to persevere and remain faithful to my King until the end. My deepest thanks to my family around the world that is standing with and praying for me.
—Andrew Brunson
Please share this article with your pastors and all those who will pray with you. Ask your pastor to lead the congregation in prayer for Andrew during  this weekend’s church service.
On Sunday evening at 9m EST, we will be hosting a special prayer conference call to pray together for Andrew Brunson. In Turkey, it will be 4am giving us the opportunity to pray before Andrew’s trial begins. JOIN US! Call information below
In Christ,
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Blaine Scogin and the VOP team
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Blaine Scogin serves as Prayer Director for Persecution Watch and Voice of the Persecuted.

Persecution Watch is a national prayer conference call to pray specifically for the persecuted Church. For the past 8 years, Blaine has faithfully led this national network of believers praying for the persecuted Church and the global harvest. The group normally meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm EST. However, dedicated in their prayers for our persecuted brothers and sisters, there have been times when these prayer warriors have met every night for a month or more—lifting the persecuted up as the Lord leads. Often, they host callers from nations other than the United States.

We also encourage you to join the weekly prayer call to continue to pray together for those suffering for Christ.

Tuesday, Thursday. Saturday —Special Sunday call scheduled for Pastor Brunson (APRIL 15, 2018) 
Time:
9 p.m. Eastern time
8 p.m. Central time
7 p.m. Mountain time
6 p.m. Pacific time
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Turkey to put Andrew Brunson on trial

A Turkish court approved an indictment against Black Mountain native Andrew Brunson, clearing the way for a trial on April 16, 2018 that could result in his being imprisoned in that country for up to 35 years.

On March 28, Sen. Thom Tillis announced that he met with imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson on March 26 at Buca Prison in Ismir, Turkey.

“Pastor Brunson is strengthened by his love for his family and his faith in God, but his health has deteriorated,” Tillis said in a statement. “He has lost 50 pounds and spends 24 hours a day in a cell with limited human contact.  He is attempting to visit a doctor this week, which involves him being handcuffed and transported with several armed guards. He fears the possibility that the American government accepts the indictment and forgets about him, which we will not allow to happen.

“There should be no mistake that Pastor Brunson is the victim of false accusations, and we call upon the Turkish authorities to honestly and transparently review his indictment. Pastor Brunson is being used as a political pawn by some elements of the Turkish government.” Read more

VOP Note: Andrew’s wife asks for continued prayers,

“Today the Lord clearly showed me and another believer to pray for Andrew three times a day – morning, noon, evening. Like mealtimes. I have set the alarm on my phone. I would love for others to join this and pray for Andrew whenever you eat breakfast lunch and dinner – whatever time zone you are in!
As you pray three times a day… please pray that the cord around Andrew would be loosened/untied.
Although I don’t understand this completely, the Lord gave this very clearly so I am praying it by faith. Please join by faith that what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven. We are sooo grateful for you, our huge family in Christ.
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