January 2017 – Andrew and Norine Brunson (photo above), Americans who have lived in Turkey for 20 years and pastor the Protestant Resurrection Church in the city of Izmir, were detained by Turkish officials October 7, and accused of being a national security threat.
Norine was released October 20 and ordered to leave the country by the time her visa expired November 10. Andrew remained in custody, although the Interior Ministry had ordered his deportation within 15 days of being taken to the detention facility.
In Niger, gunmen stormed the home of American missionary Jeffery Woodke on October 14, kidnapping him and killing two of his household workers. Woodke has lived in Niger since 1992, working with JEMED, a partner of Youth With a Mission, and as instructor at the Redwood Coast School of Missions.
Woodke is the first American kidnapped in Niger, although the region frequently faces attacks from al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other extremists.
voanews.com, 11/3/16; worldwatchmonitor.com, 10/20/16; world.wng.org, 10/17/16