U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson goes on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges

ISTANBUL — The trial of a North Carolina pastor facing up to 35 years in a Turkish prison over terrorism charges began on Monday, posing another obstacle to U.S. relations with its strategically important NATO ally.

Andrew Brunson — a 50-year-old evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina — has spent the last 23 years living in Turkey, where he and his wife raised their daughter and two sons.

According to the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing Brunson in the U.S., he was running the Resurrection Church in the western city of Izmir and applying for permanent residency when he was detained in October 2016.