News and Facts about Cuba

Church destroyed and 200 hundred members detained in Cuba

Church destroyed and 200 hundred members detained in Cuba
Florence Taylor JUNIOR STAFF WRITER 09 February 2016

Cuban authorities demolished a large church on 5 February while hundreds
of church members were detained, according to Christian Solidarity
Worldwide (CSW).

Emanuel Church in eastern Cuba, affiliated to the Apostolic Movement –
an unregistered Protestant denomination – was surrounded by officials
including , state security and the military at 5am last Friday.

They detained Rev Alain Toledano’s wife before demolishing both the
church and the pastor’s home. Property found inside the church including
pews, chairs and a piano were confiscated. Toledano was in the United
States at the time of the incident.

Approximately 200 leaders and members of the church were also detained.
Around forty were held in a local and the rest were taken to
police stations, apparently to ensure there were no protests against the
demolition.

CSW says church leaders reported that many were beaten during their
detention.

Despite the existance of legal documents proving rightful ownership,
over 1,000 blocks of cement were also confiscated by the government,
according to CSW.

The church building and home were privately owned by Toledano and
Toledano told CSW that he believes the timing of the demolition
coinciding with his trip to the US was not a coincidence, but tactical.

He said he had received numerous threats of church eviction and closure
throughout 2015.

This is the second time the family has experienced the destruction of
both church and home, and Toledano expressed concern about the impact
these events would have on his daughters – aged 11 and 12 – who he said
were screaming as they witnessed their mother being detained.

“This series of demolitions since the New Year indicates a worrying
escalation in terms of violations of of religion or belief in
Cuba,” said Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s chief executive.

The Cuban government has repeatedly refused to register Apostolic
Movement churches and Friday’s destruction comes in the wake of similar
demolitions in Camaguey and Las Tunas provinces on 8 January.

Source: Church destroyed and 200 hundred members detained in Cuba |
Christian News on Christian Today –
www.christiantoday.com/article/church.destroyed.and.200.hundred.members.detained.in.cuba/79144.htm

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