Canadian-American Pastor Forced to Leave Turkey After 19 Years for His Evangelistic Work Appeals to European Court of Human Rights

David Byle, a pastor living in Turkey, was forced to leave the country he had called home for 19 years, where he had raised his children and had become a close-knit member of the community – simply because he shared his faith.  

This week, ADF International filed an application on his behalf with Europe’s top human rights court820 million Europeans from 47 different nations are subject to its rulings.  

“Whenever we spoke in public, people were excited to listen and learn. For a long time, we were successfully able to fight the government attempts to stop our ministry, because we were only making use of our right to religious freedom, protected by the Turkish constitution. The government did not want us in Turkey, but plenty of people do. God called us there, he wants the Turkish people to hear about Him and to know that He is doing wonderful things,” said David Byle. 

Byle had faced an unjust deportation decision in 2016 and challenged the legality of the move in Court. Though he had been granted an injunction that allowed him to stay until the results of the case were delivered, Byle unexpectedly faced further arrest – only one day after the high-profile release of American pastor Andrew Brunson from custody in Turkey in October 2018.  

Despite having a guarantee of protection to remain, he was given a new order to leave the country within fifteen days. The authorities alleged Byle was a threat to public order and security despite him successfully challenging previous charges brought against him. After leaving the country, the authorities imposed a permanent re-entry ban, something he only discovered upon trying to return to his family with whom he now resides in Germany.  

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SOURCE: Alliance Defending Freedom

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