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CUBA: Religious Leaders Under Pressure to Sign Agreement Regarding Church Demolition

CUBA: Religious Leaders Under Pressure to Sign Agreement Regarding Church Demolition

Cuban authorities in the city of Santiago de Cuba are pressuring religious leaders to sign an agreement regarding the demolition of their church. The Assemblies of God church, led by Pastor Faustino (Fausto) Palomo Cabrera, located in the Abel Santamaria neighbourhood of Santiago de Cuba, was demolished by authorities on 30 October.

The demolition began at approximately 7.30am when Cuban State Security, accompanied by heavy machinery including bulldozers, attempted to clear the area. According to Cuban independent journalist Ricardo Fernández Izaguirre, the church belongs to the legally recognized Assemblies of God denomination. Footage of the demolition has emerged on Facebook.

During the demolition, Pastor Alain Toledano, a prominent leader of an unregistered denomination, the Apostolic Movement, was physically apprehended by the police whilst filming the attack. He was taken to the Motorizada Police Station, where he was held alongside two other members of his church, Adrián Arza and Félix Daniel González, incommunicado for nine hours.

CSW sources report that Pastor Palomo Cabrera, and the Assemblies of God Regional Superintendent José Martínez were taken away by members of the Department of Physical Planning and other government officials at approximately 9am in the morning of 2 November. It is believed that the authorities are applying pressure on Pastor Palomo Cabrera and Superintendent Martínez to sign a document saying that the demolition of the church was legal. Local sources also report that the authorities are attempting to charge Pastor Palomo Cabrera for the use of the machinery used in the demolition.

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

  • Pray the church building being demolished will ignite unity amongst the members and not crush their commitment to Christ in any way.
  • Pray that many who saw the footage of this dreadful event will rise up and pray for the Cuban State Security.
  • Pray the Lord will continue to build his church whilst facing restrictions.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

Cuba: Christians Face New Difficulties

Cuba: Christians Face New Difficulties

Though many churches around the world moved their services online because of the coronavirus pandemic, Christians in Cuba have not had that option. Since very few people have access to the Internet, Christians have been completely without worship and fellowship.

“People are in fear of being visited by others,” a VOM worker said. “Many also live in homes where not everyone is a believer.”

In addition, Christians are concerned about future restrictions the government may impose and how they will have to adapt their teaching and worship services.

In general, Cuba is experiencing increasing violence and anxiety. Cubans must wait in long lines for food, many are without work, there is no public transportation and there is a lot of theft. According to contacts around the island, food is the hardest thing to find. Pray for Christians in Cuba.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

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CUBA: Evangelist Arrested for Public Preaching

CUBA: Evangelist Arrested for Public Preaching

A lay evangelist was arrested in the central Cuban city of Camagüey in October after police heard him preaching in public.

Juan Bautista is well known to local authorities, who have repeatedly told him to stop his public evangelism and have claimed he has a mental illness. But Juan has faithfully continued to share the Gospel.

Police prevented Juan’s pastor from attending his trial, in which the judge fined Juan the equivalent of $880 dollars (the average monthly income in Cuba is about $45). Although authorities have twice in the past burned the church Juan attends, VOM’s field leader for Cuba said they cannot destroy the church because “the true temple is the congregation that remains today.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Thank the Lord for Juan’s faithfulness in sharing the Gospel with others. Pray Juan will remain steadfast in his faith.
  • Pray this current trial may be used by God to further the Good News in Cuba.
  • Commit to the Lord Juan’s pastor and the church members; pray they will be encouraged by Juan’s witness.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

CUBA: Pastor Threatened for Repairing Churches

CUBA: Pastor Threatened for Repairing Churches

A Cuban pastor has been repeatedly threatened and harassed for his efforts to repair church buildings that were damaged during the 2018 hurricane. In an effort to continue without further interference from authorities, he and other believers have been working on the repairs through the night. Despite this, the pastor was recently threatened by one of the opposing neighbours who approached him with a machete.

Adding to the mounting pressure, local officials have denied the pastor car registration and the right to put up a sign for his own church. Members of the Cuban government consider the repairs illegal because they do not recognise church buildings constructed after the 1959 revolution. These buildings have served as places of worship for many years, even though some of them have no walls or proper floors.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray that the threatened pastor, and others representing the church in Cuba, will remain faithful in the midst of persecution.
  • Ask God to strengthen the resolve of this pastor, and all who are assisting him, so the restoration work that has already begun can be fully completed.
  • Pray their endeavours to proclaim the Gospel continue so that many more will be reached throughout the nation, including Cuba’s governing authorities.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

The Miraculous Gift of a Bible

The Miraculous Gift of a Bible

Every Sunday morning, the pastor of a small church in a remote part of Cuba took a piece of chalk and purposefully wrote a passage of Scripture on a chalkboard. Church members then carefully wrote the verses in their tattered notebooks, slowly adding to the only copy of Scripture they owned. They were committed to learning God’s Word, even without an actual Bible.

Then, one Sunday morning, a man arrived at the church carrying two boxes packed with 100 Bibles – more than enough to ensure that each member received a copy. “The people were happy to know that God is a God of surprises and endless blessings,” said the Christian worker who delivered the Bibles.

With tears in his eyes, the pastor thanked the man for the Bibles and praised God for the miracle that brought them to his small, secluded church. “They arrived to make the heart of our church happy,” the pastor said. “It covers the greatest need of our church.”

Bibles have historically been hard to obtain in Cuba. Even if a believer found one on the black market, it could cost most of a month’s wages.

In Cuba, owning a Bible provides not only immediate access to God’s Word but also a new sense of freedom. This offer of freedom in Christ, along with an increase in evangelism and decrease in government restrictions on Bibles, has led to a growing demand for copies of God’s Word. “Communism controls everything you learn and read,” the Christian worker explained.

“Having their own Bible means it’s ‘me and God’, it’s ‘me and His Word’. They get to determine how much they learn and how close they get to God. Not the government.”

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate