Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 7 Apr 2013
According to a report on religious freedom in Cuba by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, events in the first quarter of 2013 point to an ongoing trend of political crackdown against Christians, while reported violations of religious freedom tripled in 2012. For the first time in years, multiple reports have been received of violent beatings of Protestant pastors.
The Cuban Government rarely imposes lengthy prison sentences to political dissidents today, but employs a strategy of frequent, temporary and arbitrary detention without charge, a tactic increasingly deployed against Christian leaders.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Advocacy Director, Andrew Johnston, said recent reforms and privileges accorded to a few religious groups were “mostly cosmetic,” and the Cuban Government’s stance toward religious groups continued to be hostile.
He said Cuba was a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and should do much more “to guarantee the right to freedom of religion or belief for all its citizens.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.