On the evening of 9 January, Ryan Keating was informed that his court hearing scheduled for the following day had been postponed to 16 February. He was not told the reason for the postponement.
The hearing is in relation to new charges concerning a large number of Bibles, New Testaments and Gospels in Arabic and Persian that had been found during a joint police and customs raid on his business premises used as a church meeting place. It is alleged that the value of the books is 43,000TL (over 3,000 USD) and that they were imported illegally.
Ryan has another hearing scheduled for 27 January to face charges of illegally importing Christian material and producing wine without a licence (permission initially granted by the municipality in 2019 was revoked by the customs department). Hearings for these charges first brought in March 2021 have also often been postponed.
Both sets of charges proceed from a raid on Ryan’s house and business premises conducted by police and customs officials in January 2021. Police interrogation about his ministry and the biased news coverage at the time indicate a political motivation behind the raid and the charges. Ryan hopes that this will be recognised by the courts and that the case will be rejected.
Prayer is requested again 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- Negotiations with the authorities will lead to the charges being withdrawn.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.