ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, January 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Latin America
 

Christians denounce the upsurge of religious persecution in Cuba

“The sustained growth of the churches unnerves the government”, Cuban Pastor Mario Félix Lleonart, says. Several evangelical leaders have been interrogated and arrested in the last months.

SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Javier Bolaños, Evangelical Focus HAVANA 14 MARCH 2018 10:14 h GMT+1
A street of Havana. / Alexander Kunze (Unsplash, CC0)

Leonardo Rodríguez Alonso, a religious freedom activist in Cuba, was arbitrarily detained on February 28, and released days later.



He is one of the regional coordinators for the Patmos Institute, an independent civil society organisation that promotes inter-religious dialogue and freedom of religion and belief for all.



The detention was confirmed to Spanish news website Protestante Digital by Pastor Mario Félix Lleonart, general coordinator of the organisation, who is in exile.



Rodriguez was arrested on his way home to Villa Clara from the town of Caibarién, where he was leading meetings with Human Rights defenders, informs advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).



He had already been detained by the National Revolutionary Police Unit of the city of Santa Clara last November, and on several other occasions.



 



PERSECUTION AND HARASSMENT



 



Pastor Mario Félix Lleonart.

“The arrests of brother Leonardo and other forms of harassment have multiplied over the past year and so far, because the Patmos Institute submitted a report about religious freedom in the island in the last four years to the UN Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Cuba, which will take place next May in Geneva”, Mario Félix Lleonart told Protestante Digital.



The report “was received and accepted”, and the authorities arrested Leonardo “to express their annoyance with our Patmos Institute, and to warn him that they will not allow him to travel to Geneva”.



 



“THE GROWTH OF THE CHURCHES UNNERVES THE GOVERNMENT”



According to Lleonart, “the sustained growth of the churches in recent years unnerves a political system that needs a civil society as weak as possible to govern at will”.



As reported by Protestante Digital in mid-February, the main national leaders of the “Power to Transform” evangelistic campaign, which was held in Havana one year ago, were interrogated by the Revolutionary Police, also known as Cuba's political police.



Then, the authorities were interested in the fact that the Cuban evangelical churches had worked together in the organization of the event. For the Cuban government, each denomination must have its activities separately.



Cuba has been governed by the communist party since Fidel Castro took power in 1959. He died in November 2016.



 



“GROWING NUMBER OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VIOLATIONS”



Although the Communist regime have shown some signs of economic and political reforms, repression has continued under Raúl Castro.



According to the organisation Open Doors, Cuban Christians face constant surveillance and infiltration by the government. From January to December 2017, a CSW report recorded 325 separate violations of freedom of religion or belief in the country.



“CSW is deeply concerned by the growing number and severity of religious freedom violations reported by a wide variety of denominations and religious groups, which seem to show that the government is attempting to tighten its control over the activities and membership of religious groups”, says the report.



However, “it appears, that the government is now also diversifying its tactics by threatening activists and religious leaders with trumped up criminal charges, arbitrarily preventing them from traveling out of the country and targeting their children”, CSW adds.



 



“GOD HAS OTHER PLANS FOR CUBA”



“The Communist Party of Cuba and its Office of Religious Affairs, especially the Central Committee, are the main responsible for the violations of religious freedoms that take place in Cuba”, Lleonart told Protestante Digital.



The pastor believes that “the coming departure of president Raúl Castro is just a very well planned move to confuse the international community and seek some legitimacy that is badly damaged”.



“Persecuting religious liberties has been something innate to them during their six decades in power. But I have no doubt that God has other plans for Cuba. Despite the plans of men, times of refreshment are coming”, he concluded.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Christians denounce the upsurge of religious persecution in Cuba
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Did Hitler base his anti-Semitic views on Christianity? Did Hitler base his anti-Semitic views on Christianity?

An answer by Richard Weikart Professor of Modern European History, California State University Stanislaus.

 
China rises 16 places in Open Doors World Watch List China rises 16 places in Open Doors World Watch List

There has been an serious increase in persecution of Christian communities in China in the last months.

 
The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis

Jerry Root compares the search for meaning of C.S. Lewis with Saint Augustine's reflections.

 
Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

 
That night That night

“No one came ot help that night, no nurse to numb the fright...”

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.