American Pastor Andrew Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey since October. There have been few attempts to have him released. But now, the President of the United States, has taken up his case. Trump reportedly brought up his case three times with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, according to CBN.

Reportedly, President Trump was the first to bring it up, followed by Vice President Mike Pence. “They went to bat for the pastor,” White House officials told CBN News. Brunson was arrested in a terrorism investigation, though has yet to be formally charged.

“Unfortunately Pastor Andrew Brunson is now a pawn, kind of a trump card in Erdogan’s hand. There’s absolutely no rule of law, no due process in that case, it’s a completely bogus case. Anyone who has looked at the case knows that these are trumped up charges,” says Dr. Aykan Erdemir, a former member of Turkey’s Parliament who has advocated for the release of Pastor Brunson for months.

“President Trump raised the incarceration of Pastor Andrew Brunson and asked that the Turkish Government expeditiously return him to the United States,” the White House stated.

“President Trump and Vice President Pence have yet again demonstrated that they are ‘defenders of the church’ focused intently upon religious liberty here but also on religious liberty abroad,” said Dr. James Dobson in response to the White House action. “Of the countless issues facing our world, it’s clear that to this White House the well-being of any individual American rests at the top of the list of priorities and especially when that American is a prisoner of conscience.”

Christian leaders are applauding President Donald Trump for defending the imprisoned pastor.

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