Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Update: Formerly imprisoned Cuban pastor settles in United States

An old photo of Pastor Carlos
and his family.
A formerly imprisoned Cuban pastor recently arrived in the United States as a political refugee along with his wife and daughters, reports VOM USA and Compass Direct News.

In February 2006, Cuban authorities raided the home of Pastor Carlos Lamelas and arrested him on charges of aiding emigrants who sought to leave the country illegally. Pastor Carlos was later accused of being involved in human trafficking.

Those acquainted with Pastor Carlos denied that he was ever involved in such activities and believed he was being targeted for opposing the Cuban regime on religious rights issues. Carlos suffered in prison without charges until he was suddenly given a conditional release in June 2006. He was later fined, however, on charges of “falsifying documents.”

Unable to find employment and fearing another arrest, Carlos applied unsuccessfully for political asylum in 2010. In 2011, however, his case was reviewed, and he and his family were granted status as political refugees.

“For our part, we have been open to the will of God, and we know he will take us where we can best serve him,” Pastor Carlos shared.

During Pastor Carlos's imprisonment, hundreds of Christians wrote him letters of encouragement, many through The Voice of the Martyrs' letter writing site, www.PrisonerAlert.com.

“We know that many brothers and sisters have collaborated for our benefit; we're sorry not to know specifically who they are,” said Pastor Carlos. “Nevertheless, we want them to know that our love and gratitude is sealed in our hearts for the rest of our lives.”

To get involved in writing letters to prisoners of faith, visit www.PrisonerAlert.com. You can also download a free guide with pointers and prisoner addresses at www.persecution.net/write.htm.

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