October 13, 2018: American pastor Andrew Brunson met with President Trump in the Oval Office, just one day after being released from a two-year imprisonment in Turkey.
After Brunson thanked the Trump Administration for their efforts in securing his release, President Trump asked the pastor if he had anything final he would like to say.
Pastor Brunson said “We would like to pray for you. We pray for you often as a family. My wife and I pray for you.” To which the president replied “Thank you. I probably need it more than anyone else in the room.” Everyone laughed.
Then, in an incredibly moving moment, the pastor knelt down on one knee beside Trump, laid a hand on his shoulder, and prayed:
Lord God, I ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit on President Trump, that you give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all of the plans you have for this country and for him. I ask that you give him wisdom in how to lead this country into righteousness. I ask that you give him perseverance and endurance and courage to stand for truth. I ask that you protect him: from slander, from enemies, from those who would undermine. I ask that you make him a great blessing to this country. Fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance. And we bless him. May he be a great blessing to our country. In Jesus’ name, we bless you. Amen.
Then Pastor Brunson’s wife Norine prayed:
I want to pray that the spirit of the Lord would rest on the president, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord. Amen.
Christian Missionary To Turkey
Brunson, originally from North Carolina, was a Christian missionary to Turkey where he and his family had lived and worked for more than 22 years.
The pastor was arrested in October 2016 during a government campaign of mass arrests following a coup attempt. He was accused of aiding terrorists through the church he operated with his wife. Convicted and sentenced to three years in prison, Brunson was released for time served and allowed to leave Turkey—after much intervention from the Trump Administration. He returned home on Friday, October 12, 2019.
Brunson denied Turkish government allegations that he supported two groups outlawed as terrorist organizations–the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the movement headed by Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Turkish Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of masterminding the failed coup bid.
The state’s indictment also accused him of “dividing and separating the country by means of Christianization” of the Turkish people(!). (Wonder how long it will be before the left tries this in the U.S.?) Prosecutors had called for conviction and a prison sentence of 35 years.
Typical Christian Persecution?
This may sound like typical Christian persecution in a foreign Muslim majority country. But we do well to remember this:
- The highest officials in the pre- and post-Trump U.S. government attempted a coup against President Donald Trump.
- General Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and George Papadopolous, all affiliated in some small or large way with the Trump presidential campaign and/or admin, were arrested on dubious pretenses.
- Look at terrorist organization Southern Poverty Law Center’s website (btw, the SPLC is now so far left the FBI no longer “uses” them), and look at how they list people who are “Anti-Sharia” or “MAGA” etc.
- The city of San Francisco, a city that must publish a “Poop Map” because its far leftist leaders have devastated the city, tried to declare the NRA a terrorist organization.
- Christians, Republicans, and Pro-Life supporters are continually banned and/or shut down by Big Tech and other “tolerant” groups.
Literally, this list could go on and on naming the vile intolerance and bigotry of the left.
But There IS A Greater and Much More Accurate List…
And I, John, the beloved apostle of Jesus Christ, saw the dead, great and small, standing before God’s throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (15) And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:12, 15
Heaven help us! The global warming folks will think they have received vindication.
After describing the end-time temple of God, the New Jerusalem, the Revelator writes:
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:27
(This is truth! But stating it has potential to get #PAGA on the hate list! That is what a twisted and crooked generation we live in.)
The Bible teaches us that God desires that all people be listed on the greater and much more accurate list. Out of obedience to Christ and His Lordship, praying America great again must include praying for our enemies. As hard as it is.
For The Record—Turkey’s Religious Population
For the record, 98% of Turkey’s 82-million population (2018 estimate), is Muslim, with Sunni Islam accounting for 80%. Christians make up 0.35%—less that 1/3 of 1%! And the Turkish government accused the Christian pastor of terrorism? After he had been in the country for more than 22 years? And, out of 81 million Muslims, one of the few Christians was accused of working with an American Muslim cleric? Right.
For The Curious and/or History Lovers
The Bulgarian St. Stephen Orthodox Church was inaugurated on October 9, 1849. It stands on land donated by Stefan Bogoridi, a high-ranking Ottoman statesman. Stefan and his brother Athanase were named after Boris I, the first Christian ruler of Bulgaria.
Modern-day Istanbul is known by its more popular and longstanding name Constantinople, named after the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Among Constantinople’s many accolades: the city served as the capital of the Roman Empire from 324-395, the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire from 395-1261, and the Ottoman Empire from 1453-1923. In 1923 the capital of Turkey was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. Some people still refer to it as Constantinople.
During New Testament times, the city was named Byzantium. In 324 it became the capital of the Roman Empire and was renamed “Constantinople” in 330.
Byzantium was one of three major Holy Sees, along with Alexandria in Egypt and Rome. Many of the Bible’s original manuscripts are from Byzantium copyists.
The critical role of Constantinople in Christian history cannot be overstated.