Why Turkey May Target Mormons After Case Against U.S. Pastor

There are claims that an evangelical missionary conspired with Mormons against the country's president.

andrew brunson
Andrew Craig Brunson, centre, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, who had been jailed in Turkey for more than one and a half years on terror and espionage charges, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey where he was put under house arrest as his trial continues. (AP Photo/Emre Tazegul, File)

American Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor, is currently on trial for his alleged involvement in a terrorist plot to destabilize Turkey, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. And prosecutors allege that Kenneth Abney, a retired U.S. special forces major, conspired with Brunson to coordinate a group of malefactors that included evangelicals, Mormons, the Muslim Fethullah Gulen faith group, the Kurdish-Marxist PKK terrorist organization, an Israeli, an Iranian, and current and former agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

The Brunson case has become a focus of a dispute between Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the United States’s Donald Trump. President Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey last month because he believes Erdogan welched on a previous deal to release Brunson, reports Bloomberg. But even if the pastor is released, there is no reason to believe the tension between the countries will dissipate. Another group also faces increase threats of danger: Turkey’s Mormons, who play a surprisingly large role in the case’s complex alleged conspiracy.

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