Report reveals sharp rise in religious liberty violations in Cuba

Pressure on religious leaders in Cuba has increased significantly over the past year according to a new report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

Comprehensive evidence within the document details a sharp rise in religious liberty violations there.

Independent church leaders from the fast growing Apostolic Movement have been particularly targeted for harassment, detentions and court summons by the government, according to the report.

Last week Pastor Mario Alvarez, the Havana based leader of a church affiliated with Apostolic Movement, was informed by government officials that he is to be evicted from his home.

Two other leaders from the Apostolic Movement are currently in prison. Alexi Perez, a leader in Pastor Alvarez’s church, has now been in prison for almost two months, while Pastor Omar Gude Perez was sentenced to six years in prison in July.

This follows the detention of at least 60 pastors and leaders linked to the Apostolic Movement in May and June.

CSW’s Advocacy Director, Tina Lambert said: “It is clear that the eviction of Pastor Alvarez is the latest in a long line of repressive actions taken by the Cuban Government against Christian leaders associated with the Apostolic Movement.

"We strongly encourage the international community, in particular the European Union, to push the Cuban government to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which it signed in 2008 and to make it clear to Cuban officials that religious freedom must be protected for Cubans of all faiths.”