In answer to prayer, Ryan Keating is allowed to travel after a scheduled court hearing was postponed to August 17. Ryan, charged with illegally importing Bibles and books related to Christianity and producing wine without a licence, is thankful for your ongoing prayers for this situation.
The court case stems from a January raid by police and customs officials on Ryan’s home and business premises. Officials confiscated Bibles and Christian literature for personal and church use. The local press also published a defamatory article about Ryan and his Christian activities and connections. Ryan has launched a defamation suit against the newspaper after they failed to retract the article.
In March Ryan was summoned to Iskele police station and was charged with illegal importation of New Testaments, Bibles, and other Christian literature, as well as producing wine without a licence. (Permission for that, initially granted by the municipality, was revoked by the customs department.) Police confiscated Ryan’s passport for the duration of the court case, meaning special permission would be needed to travel.
On 23 June, Ryan’s lawyer was notified the trial would start on 28 June. Details of the charges were made available by the prosecutor on 24 June, allowing little time to prepare the legal defence.
Christians in Cyprus are thankful the hearing has been postponed, giving the lawyer more time to prepare, and that Ryan and his family are able to travel as planned after the police returned Ryan’s passport and granted him permission. They request continued prayer that when the case comes to court, it will be clearly seen that the possession of Bibles and Christian literature for personal or church use is a civil right and not a crime.