Evangelist arrested in Turkey just days after Andrew Brunson release
By Marcus Jones
A North American Christian has been arrested and ordered to leave Turkey just days after missionary Andrew Brunson was released.
David Byle, who is a joint US and Canadian citizen, was stopped at Ankara train station and taken to anti-terror police for interrogation.
He was detained overnight but released with an order to leave the country within 15 days.
The evangelist has served in Turkey for 18 years and has been threatened with deportation on a number of occasions due to his mission work.
He’s previously been arrested several times while conducting street evangelism.
While evangelism is legal in Turkey, police accused him of disturbing the peace and insulting Islam.
Following the detention of Andrew Brunson, Byle has been advised to legally contest the deportation order but also to leave within the fifteen days.
Thanking Christians for their prayers, he said: “We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support, not only from believers here in Turkey, but from literally all around the world.
“It means a lot to us and encourages us greatly to know we’re not alone, that we’re a part of such a great family, God’s family.”
Encouraging Christians to keep praying, religious freedom group Middle East Concern said: “Pray that David and his family will continue to be strengthened and encouraged during this ordeal and that David will have the wisdom and guidance to know how to proceed, including in discussions with his co-workers.
“Pray also that God will comfort the Christian community in Turkey, especially since this comes immediately after the trauma of Andrew Brunson’s detention and eventual release last Friday and that the Turkish state will stop its victimisation of expatriate Christian workers.”