Friday, July 1, 2011

Pastor and believers detained in Cuba

Cuba is a popular vacation spot, but behind the
hotels lies a government hostile to Christians.
Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso and his wife, Yoaxis, along with 21 others were detained and kept from attending a church service on June 26, reports Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

The group was picked up by police at around 10 a.m. and released five hours later, after the service had finished.

The service was being held in support of Pastor Yordi Toranzo, who was ousted from his position for refusing to deny pastoral support to human rights activists and members of the political opposition.

The order for his expulsion came from Methodist Bishop Ricardo Pereira Dias, who church authorities generally believe was pressured by the government. There have been reports of similar pressures on other church leaders as well.

Authorities have been detaining pastors for only short periods of time – a tactic CSW believes is used to deflect international attention away from governmental interference.

In 1992, Cuba officially became a “secular” state that formally guarantees freedom of religion. However, full freedom is not experienced by many minorities. Authorities continue to pressure Christian believers through coercion and intimidation.

Pray for Cuba:
  • Pray that the Church in Cuba will continue to reach out with the news of God's grace, despite the opposition from the government.
  • Pray that freedom of religion will truly become a reality in Cuba.

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