Following the Friday release of American Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkish custody, religious leaders and politicians celebrated the move and thanked the Trump administration for facilitating it.
Here's a sampling of reactions:
Vice President Mike Pence:
"Pastor Andrew Brunson is coming home! Thanks to the strong leadership of @POTUS Trump and the steadfast prayers of millions of Americans, this innocent man of faith will soon be home!"
Sen. Senator Thom Tillis, R-N.C.:
"North Carolina native Pastor Brunson will soon return home to the United States, where he will be reunited with his family. While the Brunson family has been caught in the middle of a diplomatic and political nightmare for the last two years, their unwavering optimism and faith kept them strong during this very difficult and stressful time."
Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon:
"Very thankful that we will soon have Pastor Andrew Brunson safely home. Incredible work done by @POTUS to ensure our fellow American returns back to his family and community."
Sen. Senator Ben Sasse, R-Neb.:
"This is long overdue news. The Turkish government should put Pastor Brunson on the next flight home. I'm grateful that Pastor Brunson's unjust detainment is coming to an end."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
"I am so glad that Pastor Andrew Brunson is on his way home at long last. For two years, the bravery and the faith that he and his family have displayed have inspired all of us. Today, the nation rejoices alongside them."
Rev. Franklin Graham:
"We thank God for the long-awaited release of Pastor Andrew Brunson. I know that his family & friends are anxious to welcome him home. Our thanks to @POTUS & @VP for their hard work on this issue — it wouldn't have happened without them."
Rev. Jack Graham:
"Very soon we will get to say four words we've been waiting to say for a long time: Welcome home, Pastor Brunson."
Pastor Ronnie Floyd, president of the National Day of Prayer:
"For two years, Christians in America and across the world have hit the floor with their knees in prayer for Andrew Brunson's release from his Turkish imprisonment. Today, our prayers were answered."
Dr. Robert Jeffress, Dallas pastor:
"We should thank Pres. @realDonaldTrump & his administration for their relentless dedication to religious freedom & tough negotiations with Turkey to secure Pastor Brunson's release today. Yet another example of 'promise made, promise kept' by the Trump Administration. Praise God!"
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins:
"The prayers of thousands were answered today when Pastor Brunson was released by the Turkish government and told he could go home to the United States."
Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
"This is the fitting end to what was nothing less than a humanitarian injustice against a man who was targeted for living out his Christian faith."
Pastor Paula White-Cain:
"America woke up to some truly extraordinary news today, that Pastor Andrew Bronson has been released by the Turkish Government and is finally coming home!"
In Defense of Christians:
"IDC congratulates the Trump Administration on obtaining the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a United States citizen who has been unjustly imprisoned in Turkey for two years on false charges."
Pastor Dr. David Jeremiah:
"I am, simply put, overjoyed that Pastor Andrew Brunson has been released by the Turkish Government and that he and his family will be allowed to travel back home to the United States."
Pastor Greg Laurie:
"Today we get to celebrate the news that one of our own, Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was sent out to preach the good news, has finally been freed and is coming home with his family."
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