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Camaguey
Threats have been made by government officials to destroy a church property due to its affiliation with the Apostolic Movement, a fast-growing unregistered network of protestant churches. Pastor Bernardo de Quesada, a national leader of the church group, has publicly denounced an order from the Provincial Ministry of Housing that he and his wife demolish an outdoor covered patio, used by the church for meetings. The order directly contradicts written permission for construction of the patio issued by another government agency, which added that "permission for this type of construction is not necessary."

There have also been complaints that the Cuban government is targeting the family members of its leaders. In one particular case, the electricity has been cut off from the home of retired military officer Lieutenant Colonel Orlando Porfirio and his ill wife, in what they believe is an attempt to put pressure on their adult son who is a worship leader. The elderly couple have not had electricity supplied to their home since October 9, 2012, and have received no response to repeated written complaints to government officials.

Other affiliated churches have been subjected to repeated fines and had property confiscated or destroyed. A number of its leaders, including Pastor Omar Gude Perez, have been imprisoned for various lengths of time. (For more on Pastor Omar's situation, click here.)

Santa Clara
Church leaders in the Cuban city of Santa Clara have condemned the Cuban government's refusal to allow Trinidad First Baptist Church access to its bank accounts. The accounts for the historic local church, with funds amounting to approximately $27,000, were frozen by government officials in 2010. The majority of these funds were donated by churches abroad for essential repairs to the 105-year-old church, yet still remain inaccessible more than two years later.

Additional penalties applied to the church before the retirement of its former pastor included a prohibition on any foreigner travelling with a religious visa visiting the church, non-authorization of the purchase of a church van, and refusal to issue permission for the pastor to leave the country in order to attend religious conferences abroad.

Overall Increase of Persecution
There have been a total of 120 reported cases of religious freedom violations in 2012, up from a total of 30 in 2011, some of which involved entire churches and denominations and hundreds of people. One of the most severe cases involved the violent beating of Pentecostal pastor, Reutilio Columbie, early in the year. Pastor Reutilio suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the beating which he believes was orchestrated by local Communist Party officials. To date, there has been no governmental investigation into the beating carried out. (For other previous reports on events affecting Christians in Cuba, please check the Cuba Country Report.)

May our all-powerful God mediate on behalf of Cuban believers by moving the hearts of political leader Raul Castro and his government officials in favour of granting them religious freedom. Pray that the church will arise from oppression becoming a tremendous influence on the entire nation and that great exploits would take place in their midst, including the divine healing of Pastor Reutilio.


Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
11,032,343 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
White (64.1), Mullato or mixed (26.6), Black (9.3)

Religion (%)
Christian (58.5), folk religion (17.6), other (0.7), non (23.2)

Leader
President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez

Government type
Communist state

Legal system
Civil law system based on Spanish civil code

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Cuba

Ask God to provide wisdom to Cuba's church leaders, specifically requesting that they will exemplify grace toward all governmental authorities  while remaining bold in their presentation of the Gospel.

Pray for the salvation of the current governmental leader, Raúl Castro, as well as those who work under his leadership.

Pray that the believers of this country will not fear government reprisal but live in unconditional surrender to the Lordship of Christ.

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Cuba News

  • House Church Denied Reopening
    Amparo Gallo's congregation - Photo: VOM USA
    Amparo Gallo's congregation (before pandemic restrictions).
    Photo: VOM USA

    Following an ease of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Cuban government announced that churches could begin meeting again in person as of Sunday, October 10th. However, two days before the restrictions were scheduled to be

    ...
  • Church Building Destroyed
    Assembies of God church - Photo: VOM Australia
    The demolished church.

     

    In the early morning of October 30th, authorities arrived with equipment and began demolishing the Assemblies of God church in Santiago de Cuba. The church, led by Pastor Faustino (Fausto) Palomo Cabrera, belongs to a legally recognized denomination.

  • Released from Detention
    Ricardo Fernandez Izaguirre - Photo: Facebook / Ricardo Fernandez Izaguirre
    Ricardo Fernandez Izaguirre
    Photo: Facebook /
    Ricardo Fernandez Izaguirre

    Ricardo Fernandez Izaguirre, an independent journalist and religious freedom advocate, was detained on July 12th, at the same time various religious leaders were being blocked from leaving the country to attend meetings in Was

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  • Defenders of Religious Freedom Blocked from Meetings
    Alain Toledano Valiente - Photo: Facebook / Alain Toledano Valiente
    Alain Toledano Valiente
    Photo: Facebook /
    Alain Toledano Valiente

    The United States Department of State has been hosting a Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom event in Washington, D.C. from July 16th to 18th. Representatives from around the world have gathered together to discuss this major iss

    ...