The Christian Broadcasting Network

Browse Videos

Share Email

Faith Nation: October 12, 2018

Faith Nation: October 12, 2018 Read Transcript

(upbeat music)

- Well, American Pastor Andrew Brunson

is finally free.

Welcome to Faith Nation, I'm Ben Kennedy.

After two years of prison and detention,

Pastor Brunson is heading home.

He was released todayafter a hearing in Turkey.

Now, the court there upheldits terrorism conviction

of the Christian pastor, butit still allowed him to leave.


Pastor Andrew Brunson seenleaving the courthouse

in Turkey after being let go.

- He is being sent hometo The United States,

this has just happened.

The court just released Pastor Brunson,

he's being turned over to U.S. custody.

- [Ben] His arrest brought to NATO allies,

the U.S. and Turkey,face to face in a major

geopolitical confrontationover the fate and future

of a Christian minister.

President Trump tweeted,"My thoughts and prayers

"are with Pastor Brunsonand we hope to have him

"safely back home soon."

Lawmakers on the hillare elated by the news,

especially North Carolinasenator, Thom Tillis.

- He has been on the senate floor

every week for months advocating

for Pastor Brunson's release.

He went over to Turkey,he visited him in prison

and Pastor Brunson told Senator Tillis,

"Please make sure they don'tforget about me in America,"

and he has done, he has made sure

that Pastor Brunsonhas not been forgotten.

- [Ben] The evangelicalpastor was arrested

and detained in Turkey since 2016.

Brunson faced 35 years in prison,

tried on espionage andterror related charges,

which he denied.

- Hundreds of thousands of people

have been praying for Pastor Brunson,

not just in The UnitedStates, but around the world.

- Free Pastor Andrew.

- [Ben] Those prayers were answered today.

In an effort to get him released,

The White House imposed economicsanctions against Turkey.

- Our administration's made it very clear

that we will continue to stand strong

until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free.

- [Ben] In his finaldefense, Brunson said,

"I am an innocent man."

"I love Jesus."

"I love Turkey."

He was sentenced to time served

and is now headed home to the U.S.

- Well, Jordan Sekulowof the American Center

for Law and Justice,which played a major role

representing Pastor Brunson, joins us now.

Jordan, first of all, how is he?

We understand Pastor Brunson is already

on his way home as we speak.

- That's right.

We're just moments awayfrom that plane taking off

from Turkey to, likely, it'll be Germany,

to a U.S. military basethere and then on the way

to The United States.

This is a time, again, youasked how is Pastor Brunson,

he'll be traveling, too, with his wife,

this has been a very difficult process.

It eased somewhat when hewas put under house arrest

back in July, but he'dalready been in prison, then,

since October of 2016.

So, the health concerns, there's always,

everybody should be in prayerbecause these situations,

it's a day to celebrate the release,

it's for the family and for Pastor Brunson

and to thank the Trump Administration

and President Trump, himself,

for the direct role he played,

but to not stop praying for this family

and not forget whatthey have gone through.

Even though this is a joyous day,

the healing that has to go through

and also, just the emotions that,

and I can say that after dealing with

a number of these cases similar to this

that the healing does not, does not,

the need for healing doesn'tstop the day you're released.

- Well, Jordan, walk us through

what happened in court today.

- This was interesting.

So, we knew this wasan important trial date

and there were a lot ofnews reports going on

in the last 24 hoursabout this likely being

a court date that will leadto Pastor Brunson's release.

Now, we represent PastorBrunson and the family

at the American Centerfor Law and Justice,

so we were very quiet because, whatever,

if we speak publicly, it's official

on behalf of the client and so,

and we also know diplomatically,

these things can get veryclose to being settled

and then ultimately it can fall apart.

Now, I will tell youwithout going into details,

it's happened throughout this process

with Pastor Brunson, unfortunately,

a couple of times.

Not because of anythingthe administration,

our administration did orthat Pastor Brunson did,

but just because of the diplomatic issue.

So, at today's trial, basically,

the witnesses, who weresecret, by the way,

throughout this process, so it's not like

a U.S. trial at all, basically recanted,

as all reports have indicated

and Pastor Brunson gotsentenced to time served,

that's kind of safe facing,face saving measure for Turkey

and ultimately, the pastorwas ordered to be released

from house arrest, so he hadhis ankle bracelet taken off,

and allowed to be given backhis passport and to travel

and to, so, ultimately, to leave Turkey

to return to The United States.

- Now, Jordan, moving forward,

what kind of impact will this have

on U.S. Turkey relations?

- So, I think thisimproves the relationship.

There is the issue with the journalist

that Turkey is very concerned about,

the Saudi journalist and wantingthe U.S. assistance there.

There were also economic sanctions

put in place on two Turkish officials

because of the imprisonmentof Pastor Brunson,

the minister of justice there

and the minister of the interior,

so there were economic issues.

That being said, though, Iwould say that the relationship

with Turkey and the U.S. as NATO allies

was at a low point.

Today it improves, butthere are still people

imprisoned because of their affiliation

with The United States of America.

There are Turkish citizens who worked for

the U.S. Embassy in Ankaraand they are still in prison,

so I know that they will not be forgotten

by the U.S. government.

So, this improves the relationship,

there are issues to work out between

The United States and Turkey and I think

it sets a better stage to workall those other issues out

because Pastor Brunson andthe Trump Administration

was very strong on this, would be a,

was a bar to movingforward on other issues

that Turkey was concernedwith, especially their economy,

which was significantly improved.

Even on the news yesterdaythat it was likely

he would be released, the Turkish leader

was rebounding to numbers it hadn't seen

in a very long time.

- What words do you havefor friends of ACLJ and CBN

who have prayed and petitionedfor Pastor Brunson's release?

- These cases aren't quick, unfortunately,

there are, we try to handleit as quickly as possible.

We were thankful, I thinkbecause of all those prayers

and people stuck with this for two years

in a time when it is a story that

sometimes has peoplescratching their heads

because it is a NATO ally, it's not,

we're not talking aboutdealing with a country

like Iran or North Korea, we have great,

we're supposed to have great relationships

with our NATO allies, the onewith Turkey has deteriorated,

hopefully it will now improveits important relationship.

But, I want to just thank everybody.

They continued to pray,they continued to talk

about this story, theycontinued to provide updates

when they were necessaryabout Pastor Brunson

and ultimately, the Presidentof The United States,

because of everyone's concernand his concern, as well,

made this a top priorityfor his administration,

so I think we all owe a lot of gratitude

to President Trump, Vice President Pence,

Secretary of State Pompeo and their teams,

as well as a number ofmembers of Congress,

like Senator Lindsey Graham, a republican,

but also Senator Gene Shaheen, a democrat.

There was actually bipartisan,

which there's not much bipartisan work

in Washington these days,there was bipartisan work

on Pastor Brunson.

But, none, we wouldn'thave gotten to that point

without all the people who watch CBN,

who watch these broadcasts,who pray for Pastor Brunson

and who care about theseissues and support the work

that we do at the ACLJ.

- Jordan Sekulow, weappreciate your time and work

at the ACLJ.

Thank you.

- Thank you.


- And Aaron Mercer is the vice president

of government relations for

the National Religious Broadcasters.

Aaron, thanks for you,so much for joining us.

- Thank you for having me.

Well, today we're talking a big story,

Pastor Andrew Brunson is released.

Why was this such a big dealfor the Trump Administration?

- Well, first of all,praise God he's released.

This is a day that weshould be celebrating

and looking forward to his,the pastor's soon return

to The United States.

This is a big deal.

This American pastor, anAmerican from North Carolina,

he has been held for two years.

It was October of 2016 whenhe was originally detained

by the Turkish authoritiesand this administration

has been working for a long time

to try to get this pastor freed.

And quite frankly, a lot of credit

should go to the president, himself,

to the vice president,the secretary of state,

the ambassador forInternational Religious Freedom,

Sam Brownback, as well as anumber of members of Congress

have been very, very,

very, very much focused on this subject

of raising it in high level meetings

and even going so faras to enforce sanctions

against the Turkish government

until they've released Pastor Brunson.

He was, he didn't do anything wrong.

He needed to be released.

- Now, Aaron, the midtermsare just around the corner,

do you consider thisto be a major victory,

a major win for the Trump Administration?

- I think this is a win forthe Trump Administration,

I think it's a win for our country.

Our nation united to tryto get this man home.

There were members ofCongress from both parties

that were working on this,but the Trump Administration,

the president and the vice president

and the secretary of stateraised this, personally, often

and they got the Turkishgovernment to pay attention

and the Turks have adifferent view on this,

but the president, orI'm sorry, the pastor,

he was jailed because hewas, because of his faith

and this administration said,"That's not gonna happen,"

they wouldn't take now for an answer

and they made sure that he is now free.

- Aaron, you're talking about faith,

religious persecution ishappening all around the world.

One place in particular, North Korea,

there literally is no religious rights.

Pastor Andrew Brunson has been released,

fantastic news, butthere are several other

evangelical leaders that arebeing detained as we speak.

What's kind of signal, whatsign does this send to them?

- Oh, you got a great question.

There are others who need to be freed

and I think one lesson wecan take away from this

is, first of all, this administration

is serious about taking care of Americans

who are unjustly incarcerated overseas.

But, I also think this administration

has showed that it's serious about

international religiousfreedom, generally.

Secretary of State MikePompeo, over the summer

had a, the first of its kind,

International Religious Freedom Summit

at The State Department,brought countries in

from all over the world,and made sure that

those countries and others know that

this is a priority for us.

You mentioned North Korea.

The president raised issuesof Christian persecution

in his summit back in June.

- And there's a second summit coming up?

- And they are not gonna let that one go.

And quite frankly, therewere other prisoners

who have been released over the course

of this administration already, too.

So, and Ambassador Brownback,I know he's constantly

traveling around theworld and raising the flag

on this issue.

Other countries need to know that this is,

they need to pay attention

to international religious freedom.

And there's a great need, Ithink you hit on that just now.

There's a great need, thereare millions of Christians

around the world that arefacing severe hardship

and persecution of one kind or another,

a number of them are in prison.

Certainly North Korea is aplace where a lot are in prison,

but there's a lot around the world

and there is growing persecution in China,

in India and other countries that we need

to be paying attention to and making sure

that those nations know thatwe're gonna take it seriously

for Christians and forother religious minorities.

- Well said.

Aaron Mercer, thank youso much for joining us.

- Thank you very much.- We'll have you back soon.

- Thank you so much.

- Thank you.


Now, Hurricane Michael is gone,

leaving utter devastation in the wake

in the Florida Panhandle,facing years of recovery.

Even as this storm left Florida,

it continued to bring heartache.

So far, it has killed 11 people.

Gary Lane has more.

- After monster Hurricane Michael passed,

video drones took theskies of Panama City,

revealing the extent of the damage.

This is what's left of Mexico Beach,

once a pristine and popular destination,

now blanked out, as if a bomb went off.

But this devastation was not manmade,

it was a powerful explosion of nature.

One of the most powerfulhurricanes on record.

Michael came ashore 20 milessoutheast of Panama City

with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour

and a storm surge catastrophicsea waves of 13 feet.

By Friday morning, entire neighborhoods

and beaches had disappeared.

- So many lives have been changed forever.

So many families have lost everything.

Homes are gone, businesses are gone.

- [Gary] Department ofDefense helicopter teams

stepped in to conductdaring nighttime rescues

of some people needingemergency evacuation

and at daylight, search andrescue teams went door to door

looking for people whomay still be trapped

inside their homes.

- Mexico Beach took the brunt,that's probably ground zero.

- [Gary] The hurricaneripped the roofs off

hotels and homes, shredding vinyl siding

and scattering wood like toothpicks.

- We were hiding in the closet,

all I could hear was a lot of wind

and I thought the roof was gonna come off.

- [Gary] This woman and her husband

were nearly swept awayby winds and storm surge.

- We let the currenttake us to the next stop

and then we'd grab onto a tree.

- [Gary] Michael movedquickly through Georgia,

the Carolinas, Virginiaand then out to sea.

Flood waters surged through the Carolinas

already drenched by Hurricane Florence.

Downed trees and gale force winds

knocked power out to 900,000homes and businesses.

This Virginia womanattempted to drive through

rising flood waters.

- I was sinking, it was sinking fast.

When I turned, Iimmediately started sinking

and I knew that I had hit the ditch.

And I put it in reverse and of course

it didn't go anywhere.

I just thank God thatmy kids and my grandkids

were not in the car.

- [Gary] Michael broughthardship in the Southeast,

but devastation in the Florida Panhandle.

CBN's Caitlin Burke has this up close look

from Mexico Beach near Panama City.

Gary Lane, CBN News.

- And one of the hardest hit cities

is Mexico Beach, Florida,you just heard Gary

talk about it, as thereare crews are working

to restore communication to the area,

but those who are evacuated are being told

it is not safe to go home.

Caitlin Burke brings us the firsthand look

of the devastation there.

- There's really no other way to describe

what we found here in Mexico Beach

other than complete and utter devastation.

When you hear about this being

a 100 year storm, youcan really see it here

and it's not a matter of weeks or months

before things get back to normal.

It's gotta be a matter of years.

- So far, everybody's house I went to,

there's no house to check.

- [Caitlin] In this town of about 1,200,

100% of the structures were effected.

- It was scary.

We found a house on the far side,

blocked it up with adresser and my boss flew

out the window, I grabbedhim, brought him back in.

- [Caitlin] The infrastructurehas been destroyed.

Not only are power lines down,

but the storm surgeunearthed and tossed around

the gas and water linesand completely wiped out

parts of the road.

First responders from Louisiana say

the wreckage left behind is eerily similar

to that left by Hurricane Katrina.

Teams from across the country are here

searching for survivorsstill trapped in their homes

or beneath the rubble.

- The one thing that you know

with these first responders coming in

is that they're coming into the unknown.

We don't know the area, we're not sure

what kind of devastation, we don't know

what kind of hazards they have here.

But, the only thing that we know

is that we're here to do a job

and that is to find peoplethat need to be rescued

and get them back to their loved ones.

- The team we've embedded with

is the city of Miami Task Force Two,

firefighters year round,yet during hurricane season,

they deploy to each disaster.

Following Hurricane Florence,

most of the team was inSouth Carolina for two weeks

and then almost immediately,they deployed here.

They'll be here until thesearch and rescue is done.

The rubble that you can see behind me

used to be an apartment building.

That was over here.

You can see the foundation.

The storm surge completelywashed it away, obliterated it.

What we're hearing asthe moral of this storm

from rescue crews and survivors,

when a hurricane is coming,no matter the category,

evacuate every time.

- You know the risks, you take the risks

and so, I took and I lost.

- It was truly horrible.

Nobody should ever try toride out a four or a five.

We regretted it the wholetime, we thank God we're okay.

- Just walking around,looking to get out of here.

- [Caitlin] Caitlin Burke, CBNNews, Mexico Beach, Florida.


- And coming up, a look at the state

of the U.S. economy aftera wild week on Wall Street.

(upbeat music)

After two days of big tumbles,

the stock market saw alittle good news today.

The Dow Jones industrial average

ended the day nearly 300 points.

That comes after twodays of massive selloffs.

On Wednesday, the Dow endeddown more than 800 points,

yesterday it was down another 545 points.

And Dan Celia is president and CEO

of Financial IssuesStewardship Ministries,

he joins us now for more.

Hey, Dan.

- Ben, how are you?

- Not too bad.

Well, Dan, it was a turbulent week

on Wall Street, everyone was kind of

watching the numbers, whatwas the reason behind that?

- Well, I don't think anybodyreally knows the reason,

obviously there are some specific things

that we can point to.

Very volatile, you lose 1,300points in a couple days,

you start to get concerned andI think a lot of the concern

is a couple fronts, one isthere seems to have been

a mounting, a build up of all at once

everybody getting concerned

about China/U.S. tariff relations

and that kind of came toa little bit of a head

as we watched over the few prior days

of the yuan, the currencyin China, devaluing.

Then there was some talk, arethey intentionally devaluat,

or is this devaluation intentional?

Of course, the U.S. worriesabout, to a certain extent,

the Chinese economy and what is happening

and they're worriedabout trade and tariffs

and what that will mean, frankly,

for the first quarter next year.

It's not gonna mean a wholelot to anything this year,

although some are sayingit is, it really isn't.

It's gonna be the firstquarter of next year

and how that's gonnaimpact next year's earnings

coming right out of thegate in the first quarter

and it will impact earningsto a certain extent,

but it's not going to beas dramatic, in my opinion,

as everybody thinks.

When we look at what we send to China,

this is gonna have a much more dramatic,

be such a much more dramatic problem

with China than it's going to be

with the U.S. economy.

But, when we add to itsome of the concerns

about interest ratesand the federal reserve,

I don't want to blame the fed,

I don't believe it's the fed's fault,

I think what is happening, really, Ben,

when we look at this is we have a market,

not an economy, now, I'mtalking about the market,

that is adjusting, it's shifting

from standing on the foundation

of central banks, and I say banks

because I include someof the central banks

around the world, whatthey've done in our market,

but it has been standingfirmly on central banks

and what they're doingand that's been going on

for 10 years.

- Now, Dan--- Now, we are shifting to

the foundations of the economyand that's a big shift.

- Now, Dan, you're talkingabout a trade, China,

the interest markets, a lot to cover here,

but even with the slip in the market,

is the economy strong overall?

- Yes, the economy isnever, hasn't wavered a bit,

it is a very, very strong economy.

The fundamentals, theunderlying foundation

of this economy are extremely strong

and around every corner, theyget a little bit stronger.

There hasn't been anywavering on that at all.

- Now, Dan, the FederalReserve recently announced

it would raise interest rates again.

What kind of impact could this have on

the everyday American?

Well, it has an impact alreadyon the everyday American

because when youngpeople and people moving

to a, maybe moving up in a home

or downsizing, we're looking at 5.05%,

30 year mortgage rate andfrom a historical standpoint,

Ben, that's not a bigdeal, it really isn't.

But, we have, for so many years,

been in this low interest rate environment

that people are saying, "Oh my word, 5%,"

and that is impacting the housing market,

the mortgage market andwhat construction is doing.

If I were worried aboutone thing in the market,

it would probably beconstruction real estate

and even commercialconstruction at this point.

- Well, Dan, I just bought a house,

so I appreciate your insight and advice.

Dan Celia, thanks for your time.

- You're welcome, Ben, thank you.


- After the break, how onechurch is still working

to serve its neighborsafter Hurricane Michael.

(upbeat music)

Now, some churches inthe Florida Panhandle

are already stepping up to administer

to their hurting communities.

Heather Sells talked with one pastor

whose church suffered terrible damage,

but isn't letting thatstop their congregation

from serving their neighbors.

- [Heather] HurricaneMichael so thoroughly

decimated communitieslike Panama City Beach

that just getting inThursday was a challenge.

The problem, downed power lines and trees,

kept emergency vehicles fromentering many neighborhoods.

Pastor Cole Bailey spoketo CBN News by phone

and said he was walking almosta mile to see his house.

- [Cole] I think everyone'sstill in shock, to be honest.

Most people have never livedthrough anything like this

and with this amount of damage,

I think, really people, we're, come on,

we're used to havingair conditioning, power

and push a button and dowhatever you want to do.

- [Heather] His church took a direct hit.

The roof caved in, walls collapsed

and the sanctuary flooded.

But, his biggest concernThursday was his people.

- [Cole] What all of our staff and myself

and what we're all doing right now

is we've got teams going out,

we're checking on everybody'shome, we're checking on them

because you can rebuild buildings,

but we're in this thing to make sure

that everybody is taken care of and loved.

- [Heather] 90 minutes away in Pensacola,

Pastor Buford Lipscomb spent the day

connecting with otherpastors across the Panhandle

assessing needs and sending people in.

What helped, their familiaritywith the hard hit areas

and hurricane relief experience.

- We believe that it's us local people

and the body of Christ that can get there

before the government doesand can make a difference.

We have a lot of men thatare going just to clear roads

and clear trees off of houses.

People are still trapped in their homes.

- [Heather] Pensacola hastransformed into a staging area

for many nationalministries as they get ready

to move in and providefor immediate needs.

Despite the historicdevastation, Pastor Bailey says

he's ready to do whatever it takes

to help his community recover.

- [Cole] I know that ourcommunity will rally,

I know our church will rallyand I know it's gonna be,

we're gonna have an awesome comeback.

- [Heather] Heather Sell, CBN News.

- Thank you, Heather.

That's gonna do it for Faith Nation.

Have a great weekend.


Related Podcasts | Do You Know Jesus? | Privacy Notice | Prayer Requests | Support CBN | Contact Us | Feedback
© 2012 Christian Broadcasting Network