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CUBA: Reverend Carballeda Released From Prison

CUBA: Reverend Carballeda Released From Prison

Reverend Jesús Noel Carballeda, a 45-year-old Cuban pastor of an unregistered church in Havana who had been imprisoned for six months for holding unauthorised religious services, was released on 31 August.

Reverend Carballeda was detained in early February and imprisoned in the Valle Grande prison in San Antonio de los Baños outside of Havana. He does not appear to have been tried, but while in prison he was informed by government officials that he would be held for six months as punishment for his continued unauthorised religious activity.

Reverend Carballeda was previously imprisoned in 2000 for four months after militant communist neighbours filed legal complaints about church services he held in his family home in Marianao, Havana.

Reverend Carballeda’s church is linked to the Apostolic Movement, a fast growing network of protestant churches which the Cuban government has refused to register. Because the religious group is unregistered, all of the affiliated church’s activities are technically illegal and they are unable to apply for permits for a designated place of worship.

The detention of Reverend Carballeda is part of a larger crackdown on religious freedom in Cuba over the past few years. Unregistered religious groups have been a particular target of government repression, with religious leaders reporting harassment, fines and threats of confiscation or destruction of property.

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

 Prayer Points

  • Praise God for His goodness in ensuring Reverend Carballeda’s release; ask the Lord to help him overcome the difficult trial of the past six months.
  • Pray the Lord will minister to Reverend Carballeda and his family as they make decisions about the future of the ministry; ask the Holy Spirit to grant them His wisdom.
  • Pray for continued church growth across Cuba; ask the Lord to equip believers with courage as they face opposition.


CHINA: Fear of Religious Liberty Crackdown

CHINA: Fear of Religious Liberty Crackdown

New security laws recently passed by the Chinese government could further limit religious freedom on the Chinese mainland and beyond. China Aid warns that the wording of these new laws is “intentionally vague” and may prompt greater “persecution and abuse based on perceived threats to national security.” Among its provisions are further restrictions on “foreign influences” and what they consider “cults.”

The new security laws also expand China’s restrictions on religion into Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Some Hong Kong-based pastors fear that they might be penalised for activities such as serving mainland Christians via the Internet, hosting their visits, or even preaching to people from mainland China who are presently living in Hong Kong.

On 1 July, the same day the new laws were enacted, Hong Kong pastor Wu Xiaohe was summoned by the Religious Affairs Bureau in Shenzhen city and told he could no longer invite mainland Chinese Christians to Hong Kong for training. Officials told him that “at least 300 more religious leaders” would receive similar summons.

Sources: China Aid, Release International

 Prayer Points

  •  Ask God to continue overseeing the growth of His church in this part of the world, calling even those who would try to hinder religious freedom.
  • Pray that the country’s officials will no longer see the church as a threat to national security but rather as a positive force for the good of society as a whole.
  • Pray for wisdom on behalf of the Christian leaders as they strive to carry out the Great Commission.

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