• American pastor's supporters celebrate release in Turkey

    MONTREAT, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina church that's home to the American pastor who was released in Turkey plans a welcome home party when he returns.

    Spokeswoman Debi Forester of Christ Community Church in Montreat said Friday that the church's senior pastor, the Rev. Richard White, has been in Turkey for a day or two with Andrew Brunson and his family.

    She says White told her that Brunson's supporters in Turkey were "shouting hallelujah and doing the happy dance" when they learned he was being released. She says plans for the party will be finalized once they know Brunson's travel plans.

    A Turkish court on Friday convicted the 50-year-old Brunson on terror-related charges, then released the evangelical pastor and allowed him to leave Turkey. He has lived in Turkey for more two decades.

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