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Brunell was ordained as a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in 1978. He served as a pastor in both Finland and Australia. He preached and ministered in Swedish, English, and Finnish during his career as a minister.
Eventually, he ceased to believe in the teachings of the Lutheran Church and ultimately came not to believe in Christianity at all, therefore he left the Church. He never stopped believing in God. For six years, he and his family had no formal religion.
Six years later, he, his wife, and four daughters converted to Judaism. The conversion was rejected by the Orthodox Jewish. Eventually the leaders relented and all were converted. Upon conversion, Brunell changed his first name from “Ole” to “Shlomo ben Avraham”, and his wife changed her name from “Runa” to “Ruth”. The family retained the name “Brunell” and moved to Israel, where they currently live.
Brunell wrote of his experience in a book entitled Strangers No More: One Family’s Exceptional Journey from Christianity to Judaism, ISBN 965-229-304-0 published by Gefen Publishing House in Jerusalem in 2005.
- Hausman, Tamar (24 August 2001). "Crazy' Ole Becomes an Oleh". Haaretz. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
- De La Fuente, Susan (1 March 2013). "Under His Wings". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
- Jenny Hazan, review of "Strangers No More". Jerusalem Post, 19 November 2005. Quoted by Gefen Publishing House, Strangers No More Book Details