Pastor freed last year from prison in Turkey ‘astounded’ at mounting hostility to Christians in U.S.

by WorldTribune Staff, July 19, 2019

The corporate media, assorted celebrities and academia are engaged in “an effort to marginalize and silence and shame Christians” in the United States, “astor Andrew Brunson said.

Brunson, who was released from a prison in Turkey in October 2018 following pressure on the Turkish government from the Trump administration, said he is “astounded at the speed at which the U.S. is imploding” when it comes to bigotry based on religion.

Pastor Andrew Brunson

Brunson, a pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, made the comments at the recent Western Conservative Summit, held annually by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.

For the media, celebrities and academics, Brunson said, it is “no longer enough” for Christians to get along with others with whom they disagree.

“It seems like there’s much more of a demand that people of faith approve of, that they validate, that they celebrate things they actually disagree with,” he said.

“Activists are demanding that businesses and schools are punish those who don’t agree with them,” he said. “I think it’s especially Christians who are in the cross-hairs of these things. They’re the target.”

The same pressure hasn’t been applied to believers of other faiths, he said.

“For example, you don’t get an LGBTQ activist going to a Muslim bakery in Dearborn, Michigan, demanding that this Muslim create a cake celebrating a wedding that he disagrees with, according to his belief in the Koran,” said Brunson. “I don’t think that Muslim should be pressured. I want them to have freedom of religion here, but the Christian is being pressured.”

His comment alluded to Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who has battled the Colorado Civil Rights Commission over his refusal to create customized cakes for same-sex weddings and gender-transition celebrations, citing his Christian faith.

Activists have accused Phillips and other Christian small-business owners who have declined to provide products and services for same-sex weddings of violating anti-discrimination laws.

American pastors have to decide whether to speak out, Brunson said, and either way, “there will be consequences.”

“If they do stand, there will be consequences, there will be opposition, but if they don’t stand, there will be much more serious consequences,” Brunson said.

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