The day after American pastor Andrew Brunson was released from Turkish prison, another Christian who had been living for nearly two decades in the country was detained by Turkish authorities, and told that he had two weeks to leave the country — without his wife and three children. The American-Canadian evangelist, David Byle, not only suffered several detentions and interrogations over the years, but he had been targeted for deportation on three occasions. Each time, he was saved by court rulings. This time, however, he was unable to prevent banishment, and left the country after two days in a detention center.
When he tried to return to his family in Turkey on November 20, he was denied re-entry. According to Claire Evans, regional manager of the organization International Christian Concern:
“Turkey is making it increasingly clear that there is no room for Christianity, even though the constitution states otherwise. It is no coincidence that Turkey decided to initiate this process the day after Brunson’s release from prison and that, in doing so, the authorities ignored a court order. We must keep the Byle family in our prayers during this period of difficult separation.”