Christian Expatriate Faces Charges in North Cyprus
04/07/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Christian expatriate Ryan Keating living in North Cyprus has been charged with illegally importing Christian literature into the region. On March 31 he went to the Iskele police station and was formally charged with illegal importation and operating a business without a license. Though released on bail, he faces large fines if he is convicted.
Keating’s travel is restricted while the case is ongoing, since January 2021. On January 27 his home and business were raided. His business doubled as a meeting place for a church and had its license revoked. The raid revealed Christian literature in Arabic and Farsi. The case is expected to last up to three years, during which time his passport remains in the hands of the police and will need to receive special permission to travel. His potential fines for the Christian materials are nearly ten times their value, with the fines nearing $72,000 USD.
Prior to living in North Cyprus, Keating lived in Turkey but was targeted for his Christian faith and activity. He faced deportation, a common tactic of Turkey to drive out Christianity and its threats to pan-Turkism. Keating decided to move to North Cyprus, a region with historical roots to Turkey as he sought to minister to the Turkish people. As Keating faces persecution in North Cyprus, Turkey is exercising its political expansionism efforts as it seeks to push its own agenda in foreign countries.
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