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Pence, at the height of religious freedom, is threatening Turkey over the imprisoned US pastor



Washington – Vice President Mike Pence used a Foreign Ministry and religious leadership summit to ask Turkey to release US pastor Andrew Brunson and sanction the country if it did not.

will not take immediate action to liberate this innocent man of faith and send him to America, the United States will impose significant sanctions on Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free, "said the Vice President on July 26, The day after the North Carolina minister was released from jail and put under house arrest

Turkey's official Anadolu News Agency said Brunson was allowed to leave prison after 1

1/2 years for "health problems." The 50-year-old has been living in Turkey for 23 years and was pastor of the Resurrection Church of Izmir.

Pence asked "believers all over America" ​​to pray for Brunson, who was accused of "dividing and dividing the majority" – The Muslim Land, when he spread his Christian faith.

"I have a message on President Erdogan and the Turkish government on behalf of the President United States of America: Release Pastor Andrew Brunson or be prepared to face the consequences. "

Pence's remarks about Brunson drew several rounds of applause, along with a" Whoo! Ralph Reed, one of several informal evangelical counselors for President Trump, stood and applauded.

The Turkish Foreign Minister replied in a tweet, "We will never tolerate anyone's threats. Rule of law is for all; no exception. "

Turkey did not send representatives to the three-day ministerial meeting that ended on Thursday and attracted some 350 government officials, religious freedom advocates and others from more than 80 nations

The Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Religious Freedom – One According to the organizers, such a gathering at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at developing "concrete ways" to reduce religious persecution around the world, among the victims of religious persecution and their relatives who spoke at the summit were Brunson's daughter Jacqueline Furnari and a Uighur Muslim who moved from China to the US to leave a region in which his people live "horrified." [Pence] For more than half an hour, he said that 83 percent of the population was World population living in a country where religious practices are banned or threatened.

He cited the Nicaraguan government of P President Daniel Ortega Catholic Church, "the torture of Tibetan Buddhists in China, forced abortions and the prohibition of the Christian Bible in North Korea, and the imprisonment of Jehovah's Witnesses by Russia.

Pence noted that some free societies, such as those in Europe, are also sites of religious intolerance

"Only 70 years after the Holocaust grow attacks on Jews, even on older Holocaust survivors, at an alarming rate," said the vice president.

Pence, together with Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo, led several new initiatives to continue the goals of the summit, which will become an annual event.

Pence said the US launched a program to recover and prosecute genocide, under which the State Department and US Agency for International Development will help persecuted people and households.

"America will help the victims of ISIS regain their land, rebuild their lives and replant their roots in their ancient homelands so that all religions can flourish again, the Middle East and the ancient world," he said with applause.

Pompeo, who introduced Pence, also spoke of the rebuilding of religious communities in Iraq devastated by the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS. He said his department will provide another $ 17 million to remove landmines from the Iraqi city of Nineveh, contributing to the $ 90 million spent in the country earlier this year.

Other initiatives included a leadership program those on the "Frontlines of Religious Freedom" to the United States; a workshop planned in October to support private / public partnerships to defend freedom of religion; and regional conferences on the Summit in several countries.

Pence also announced a new International Fund for Religious Freedom to help persecuted religious minorities and asked other nations to join the United States to support them. In a ministerial document describing the fund, the US government should cover its personnel and administrative costs and use all other donations for activities such as education campaigns and conflict prevention initiatives.

Both Pence and Pompeo have reflected their own belief that the government would commit to the rights of people of all faiths.

"My own belief is of the utmost importance to me personally," said Pompeo. "As an American, I am blessed with the right to live what I believe, without fear of persecution or reprisal by my government, and I want everyone else to enjoy this blessing."

He added, "The United States promotes freedom of religion in our foreign policy because it is not exclusively an American right, but a God-given universal right given to all humanity."

Pence concluded his remarks with the Reference to a verse from the book of Leviticus from The Hebrew Bible – "Promise freedom throughout the country and up to [all] its inhabitants" – is engraved in the Liberty Bell.

"As the Bible says, Where the Spirit of the Lord is, it is freedom," said the Vice President. "Freedom thus always wins when the faith in it is upheld."


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