CUBA: Government Targeting Christians, Confiscating Churches Increasingly

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Churches in Cuba persecuted by Government

Church increasingly suffers in Cuba as government step ups the maltreatment with Christians.

According to reports by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the churches in Churches in Cuba are progressively more under attack by the government of Cuba. Christians are overwhelmingly forced to pay huge sums of money.

CSW in its annual report regarding the religious freedom in Cuba projected an increase in the violations of religious liberty in Cuba as “troubling.” This report was released just last month, in which they claim that every Sunday scores of Christian men and women are viciously arrested. These Christians are detained on purpose with an intention to prevent them from attending Sunday Mass.

Moreover, foreign students who get involved in Christian activities are being disqualified and had their visas are being cancelled while expelling them from Cuba. Moreover, CSW also puts forward robust claims regarding the Cuban government intentionally targeting church properties “to tighten its control over the activities and membership of religious groups and thus eliminate the potential for any social unrest.”

The report warns that a law is being misused by the Cuban government to forcibly seize properties belonging to religious organisations in addition to making them pay heavy amounts of money. This law was put in effect in January this year.

One of such examples is the confiscation of church of national leader of the Apostolic Movement in Cuba, Rev Yiorvis Bravo. He was issued a decree from the Housing Ministry Officials, who urged Rev. Bravo to pay a fee of US $300 per month. This fee is 15 times the average annual salary in Cuba. Rev. Bravo, on the other hand, claims that he is the legal owner of the property. He has refused to pay the fee and as a result he has been banned from travelling outside of Cuba.

Mervyn Thomas- Chief executive of CSW, states, Rev. Bravo’s case is a “clear revelation that the strategy behind these confiscations is to wield more control over religious leaders and bodies of faith.”

“We have repeatedly raised concerns about the growing number of churches, registered and unregistered, which have been informed of the arbitrary expropriations of their properties by the government in recent months.

“We continue to condemn the illegal expropriations of church properties and call on the Cuban government to rescind these orders of confiscation immediately. Furthermore, we call on the Cuban authorities to lift any restrictions on travel for Reverend Bravo without delay,” He continued.