Please pray for our brothers and sisters in the city of Santiago de Cuba where government officials have reportedly issued demolition orders to all churches in one neighbourhood.
Pastors and families living in the church properties targeted in the Abel Santa María area of the city have been told they are to be evicted. At least three churches are known to be under threat in Santiago, plus two more in Las Tunas province.
Members of Emanuel Church in Santiago have been holding a ‘sleep-in’ at their building since early November, in an effort to prevent it from being destroyed. Its pastor, Alain Toledano, said he believed communist officials, angered by the re-establishment of relations with the US, were launching a crackdown on ‘apostolic and prophetic’ churches.
Scores of churches across Cuba have reportedly come under pressure since new legislation was introduced in January giving officials discretionary powers to confiscate property. In some cases, religious groups have been given the option to stay – but only in return for paying high rent to the government and submitting to Communist Party monitoring. Most have rejected this option.
Sources: Release International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide
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