On June 27, 2019, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) held a congressional hearing on religious freedom in Turkey.
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today condemned recent comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatening to convert the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul from a museum into a mosque.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2019
USCIRF Expresses Condolences on Death of Armenian Patriarch, Mesrob II, and Calls on Turkey to Allow Free Election of New Patriarch
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed with great satisfaction the decision by a Turkish court to release Pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest. Pastor Brunson was first detained on October 7, 2016, on false charges and served almost two years in prison before he was placed under house arrest on July 25, 2018.
I write to you on behalf of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to express our concern regarding the upcoming visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the United States later this month
For two hours the pastor sat straight, serenely listening to people claiming to be members of his church, saying he provided Bibles in Kurdish and kept a map of Kurdistan. None of the judges asked to see evidence, and none was presented. At noon, a judge asked Mr. Brunson to speak. He replied in Turkish: “My faith teaches me to forgive. I forgive those who testified against me.”
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today condemned a Turkish court’s decision to return Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American citizen and leader of a small Protestant Christian church, to prison to await a fourth hearing on October 12, 2018. Pastor Brunson has been unjustly detained in Turkey since October 7, 2016 on false terrorism and espionage related charges. USCIRF Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga attended today’s hearing in Aliaga, Turkey. USCIRF has condemned the charges against Pastor Brunson and has called for his immediate release.