By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
ISTANBUL, TURKEY (BosNewsLife)-- An American pastor jailed in Turkey on controversial security charges has published a song to raise awareness about his unrelenting faith in Jesus Christ, his wife and friends say.
Pastor Andrew Brunson, held since October last year, wrote the lyrics and melody while facing four life sentences for allegedly being part of a plot to overthrow the Turkish government. He denies the charges against him.
Amid the pressure, the pastor made clear he was inspired to write a worship song reflecting his Christian faith in times of hardship. 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," it says.
"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," Brunson also wrote.
"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," adds the song apparently smuggled out of prison.
"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," another lyric says.
The song ends with: "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."
In a statement seen by BosNewsLife, his wife Norine Brunson said that "prayers have helped bring Andrew to the point of writing this song about a month ago." And, "He sings it to the Lord all the time. Thank you for praying us through," she added.
Christians in Turkey recently urged prayers for the couple after Turkey's president linked the pastor's release to the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused by Ankara of instigating last year’s failed coup attempt.
Pastor Brunson was detained with his wife in October 2016 and learned they faced deportation as the government saw them as "a threat to national security."
Norine Brunson was eventually released, but her husband remained jailed in the city of Izmir following a court appearance and allegations linking him to the Fethullah Gulen group, Christians involved in the case said.
Pastor Brunson also faces charges of obtaining "confidential political and military information for espionage purposes" to "overthrow the Turkish Parliament and Government and undermine the constitutional order of the State," BosNewsLife learned.
The pastor says he has done nothing wrong against the state while living and working in Turkey as a missionary for 23 years. He was the pastor of a small Presbyterian congregation in Izmir, a coastal community city in western Turkey.
Turkish nationalists often view Christian missionaries as a threat to Islam, though only around 100,000 devoted Christians are left in Turkey - less than 1 percent of the population, according to several sources.
Norine Brunson urged believers to consider "fasting and praying specifically" for her husband's release. "We would so love to be at our daughter's graduation in three weeks." The pastor is among tens of thousands of people detained after last year's failed coup attempt to overthrow the increasingly autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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