Christians in Cyprus request prayer for a court hearing in Famagusta on 10 January. Ryan Keating faces new charges related to the Christian material confiscated during a raid on business premises that also serve as their church meeting place.
In January 2021 Police and customs officials raided Ryan’s house in Iskele and business premises in Famagusta, confiscating Bibles, other Christian materials and wine.
As the raids were conducted in different police districts, two sets of charges have been issued: in March 2021 by the prosecutor in Iskele regarding the materials in Ryan’s home and in December by the prosecutor in Famagusta.
The Iskele charges relate to claims that the New Testaments, Bibles, and other Christian literature were imported illegally, and the wine was produced without a licence. (Permission for that, initially granted by the municipality, was revoked by the customs department.)
The Famagusta charges relate to 295 Bibles, New Testaments and Gospels in Arabic and Persian that had been provided free of charge. It is alleged that the value of the books is 43,000TL (over 3,000 USD) and that they were imported illegally.
After the hearing on 10 January to face charges in Famagusta, another is scheduled for 27 January to face the other charges. In addition, Ryan is being regularly summoned to the police station in relation to the case.
Ryan hopes the courts will recognise the political motivation behind the charges and reject the case.
Prayer is requested that:
- Negotiations with the authorities will lead to the charges being withdrawn.
- Failing that, the courts will recognise the underlying motives behind the case and act justly.
- God will strengthen and encourage Ryan during this stressful time and give his lawyer wisdom in dealing with the police, prosecutors, and courts.