US pastor held as political hostage by Turkey writes worship song

Pastor Andrew Brunson.

Originally published by World Watch Monitor

American pastor Andrew Brunson who has served a year as a prisoner in Turkey as a political hostage has conveyed thanks to those who are advocating for him and praying for him — and he has written a worship song (See at bottom of page) which his wife has given permission to be published.

Charges against him are unclear and allegedly fabricated, and recently Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed publicly that he is being held as a political hostage.

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He is one of an estimated 50 000 “suspected” public servants, academics, journalists and rights activists jailed in a 15-month crackdown by Turkey in its attempt to identify and punish the so-called Fethullah Terror Organisation (Feto) it accuses of infiltrating the country’s armed forces and government. Erdoğan hopes the US will extradite exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating the attempted coup.

Brunson, who has lived and worked in church-related ministries in Turkey for 23 years, was recently visited in prison by a delegation from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). They said he was confined to a cell 24 hours a day and has lost more than 50 pounds since being imprisoned.

“The government of Turkey has fabricated charges against Pastor Brunson, largely based on a purported ‘secret testimony’,” said US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) vice chairwoman Kristina Arriaga, after visiting Brunson, almost a year to the day since his incarceration. “He should be released immediately.”

Brunson reportedly told Arriaga: “I wish to thank everyone who is advocating and praying for me. Knowing that I am not forgotten is important to me.”

Meanwhile, US Senator James Lankford wrote: “If this is how Turkey treats an American like Brunson, other Americans should hesitate before taking their business to Turkey. It is not worth the risk. Congress has provided the executive branch with sanction authority for use against government officials who are responsible for routine and egregious human rights violations, especially religious freedom. It is time for the United States government to use these authorities to secure the release of Americans unjustly detained around the world, including Brunson.”

Below is a a song of worship, which Brunson has written during his imprisonment:

You are worthy, worthy of my all
My tears and pain I lift up as an offering
Teach me to share in the fellowship of your suffering
Lamb of God you are worthy of my all.

You are worthy, worthy of my all
Adopted as a son, a brother to my King
Indeed I will share in your glory if I share your suffering
Jesus, you are worthy of my all.

You are worthy, worthy of my all
But my heart faints, drowned in sorrow, overwhelmed
Make me like you, Cross-bearer, persevering, faithful to the end
To stand the trial and receive the crown of life.

You are worthy, worthy of my all
This is my declaration in the darkest hour
Jesus, the Faithful One who loves me, always good and true
You made me yours, you are worthy of my all.

I want to be found worthy to stand before you on that day
With no regrets from cowardice, things left undone
To hear you say, “Well done, my faithful friend, now enter your reward”
Jesus, my Joy, you are the prize I’m running for.

You are worthy, worthy of my all
You are worthy, worthy of my all
What can I give to the Son of God, who gave himself for me
Here I am, you are worthy of my all.

One Comment

  1. Hugh G Wetmore

    What a powerful song! Born in the crucible of Suffering. There is no Suffering without Glory! There is no Glory without Suffering! Romans 8:18-39. This is the Way of Jesus (1 Peter 1:11). A missing message, as we make disciples, is that “Remain true to the faith, for we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Let’s pray for sustaining grace for Brunson and all like him who suffer the default norm for their faith. True faith is a ticket into suffering, not out of it.