A Christian couple was recently threatened with criminal charges if they refused to stop their work in advocating for religious freedom.
On 8 October, Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, a pastor and religious freedom activist, was summoned to the State Security Unit in Camajuani, Villa Clara. There, an official pressured him to sign an ‘Acta de Advertencia’ – a document that can be used as justification for future arrests and criminal charges. Two witnesses, whom Mario did not even know or recognise, were present and offered testimony of his “counter-revolutionary” links.
According to the pastor, the official told him that the government was unhappy about his recent visit to the eastern part of the country, where he met with church leaders who had reported religious freedom violations. The official added that if Mario did not change his behaviour soon, a criminal case would “probably be filed.”
Days later, on 15 October, Mario’s wife, Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez, was summoned for an interview with security services. The next day, she was arrested and authorities similarly pressured her to sign an ‘Acta de Advertencia,’ but she refused. Officials also warned her to stop having contact with “counter-revolutionary” elements or risk imprisonment.
Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide
- Pray for courage and wisdom for Mario and Yoaxis as they consider how to continue their work in light of these threats.
- Pray that God will use their efforts to bring change in Cuba and encouragement to those being persecuted for their faith.
- Ask God to use His children in Cuba to advance His purposes and grow the church in number and faithfulness.