Freed American pastor speaks about captivity, meeting with Trump

Pastor Andrew Brunson speaks out on "GMA" about being held in Turkey for two years after being accused of aiding terrorists.
4:39 | 10/16/18

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Transcript for Freed American pastor speaks about captivity, meeting with Trump
Back now with the American pastor just freed from captivity in Turkey after being held for two years accused by the Turks of aiding terrorists. Andrew Brunson returned home this weekend thanks to intense pressure from the trump administration and he'll speak with in a moment. First how he became a prisoner. Pastor Andrew Brunson spent more than 20 years in Turkey running a small church, evangelizing with his wife but was arrested back in October of 2016. The Turkish government accused him of spying and aiding terrorists. Charges he and the U.S. Government denied. The president pushed for Brunson's release and upon his safe return he welcomed Brunson and his wife to the oval office. Turkish prison to the white house in 24 hour, that's not bad. Actually. Reporter: Moved with emotion Brunson offered to pray for the president. On president trump that you give him supernatural wisdom. Reporter: And pastor Andrew Brunson joins us now. Welcome home. Thank you. It's very good to be home. I'll bet it is. That was quite an emotional moment there in the oval office. What was going through your mind when you chose to pray for the president. Well, first of all, my wife and I prayed for every president and never had the chance to do it in the oval office. We before we went to the oval office, we prayed together, my wife and I and asked that we would have that chance to pray for him. We believe in the power of prayer and we think this president needs a lot of prayer. Every president does and so we asked god to give us that opportunity. You spent 20 years in Turkey and then October 2016 you were taken prisoner. Did you have a sense of what was happening then? We were actually shocked. We were arrested on our older son's birthday and this was for deportation. Then we were told that we were being arrested because we were a threat to national security. And within a very short time, it became clear to us that this was unusual. We weren't allowed to see a consular official. We were kept -- my wife and I -- for 13 days with no contact with the outside and just kept extending and extending, so we were really shocked because we spent 23 years telling people about Jesus in Turkey. We did this very openly and had never had a problem with the police. And just for the record, did you ever engage in any kind of spying, help terrorists in any way. No, our purpose was to tell people about Jesus Christ. We did that very openly and were not involved in anything political. You went to prison. Had some rough treatment. Well, just being in prison is pretty rough. At the beginning I was held in solitary confinement for a number of days and that was very difficult and the way I survived that was by just spending hours in prayer just to keep from -- keep my sanity and then I was kept in a cell for eight people but there were over 20 of us there so it was very crowded, very -- it was very isolated both by language and by culture, nationality and also by religion. It was all the people I was with were very strong muslims. They were all arrested as Muslim terrorists as part of a movement there and it was like living in a mosque in many way. Did you ever feel like you were in physical danger? Not at the beginning. I think that as things were added on, for example, saying that I was a -- supporting the pkk which is a kurdish terrorist movement, then, of course, many Turks would become more angry. At this point I'm one of the most hated men in Turkey probably because I was accused of spying as well as being part of the attempt to overthrow the government and supporting kurdish terrorists, so -- and then, of course, when they started having problems after president trump imposed sanctions, then I was blamed for the change in the economy. You're hated in Turkey but Christians here took up your cause. Did you feel that movement? Well, this is one of the very surreal things that we're not known people. We're not very important people. We've been working in Turkey and obscurity one could say for a number of years but around the world I think millions of people in many countries were praying for us and even though this caused us a lot of hurt, I think that god is using this, was planning to use this to bring blessing to Turkey. Now there are millions of people who prayed for Turkey. You still love Turkey. We do, yes. Pastor Brunson, thanks for your time this morning? Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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