============================================================ Fundamentally Right: Castro's Crackdown on Christians

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Castro's Crackdown on Christians

Fidel Castro, Cuba’s great liberator is again displaying for the world more of the benefits of Communism. Is it any wonder so many are flocking to share in the blessings of Fidel’s revolution?

Cuba may be a paradise for communists, but for Christians it’s a bit less.

Seems communists have an aversion to Christianity, there’s something about Christians they just can’t accept.

Although Christians are typically among the hardest working, most dependable and honest people, the communist can’t leave them alone. There’s just something about the Christian belief system that spooks the communists. Not only in Cuba is this the case, but nearly everywhere the communists have taken power the Christians suffer.


An article published on the Forum 18.org website describes the crackdown on Christian “house churches” that is about to take place in Cuba.

The detailed article written by Lena Lopez, of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, titled “CUBA: Draconian new restrictions on "home religious meetings" tells the story very well.

Here’s an excerpt;

Protestant house church leaders fear that sweeping new regulations restricting religious meetings in private homes, adopted in April 2005 but which are due to be implemented this month, could severely curtail their ability to meet for worship. Services that have not been authorized are banned, while those organizing approved services must submit the names of and signed approval from all owners of the house, days and times when services are held and the number of worshippers. The full name and place of residence of the pastor and details on their theological education must be given. No more than one church of any one denomination can exist within two kilometers (1.25 miles) of each other. Foreigners cannot attend house churches in mountainous areas, and require specific permission to attend churches elsewhere. Violations will lead to the church being closed and both the leader and the foreigner being fined 1,000 US dollars.


Here’s more;


Protestant leaders fear that the house church movement will bear the brunt of its impact. While the practical implications of the directive will only become clear over time, house church leaders fear that this heralds a new and more antagonistic chapter in their relations with Fidel Castro's government.

Protestant pastors estimate that between 10,000 and 15,000 house churches currently operate across the country. Most are satellite congregations of churches that existed prior to the 1959 Revolution and belong to well-established denominations with a historic presence in Cuba. Most of these house churches have somewhere between 30 and 200 members who regularly attend services.



Also this;

Even once a house church receives authorization it will still be subject to a number of restrictions, including the prohibition of any flags or signs on the exterior of the building that would identify it as a house church. As with many areas in Cuba, some discrepancies appear to exist between regulations for house churches in the capital Havana and for house churches in the provinces. Havana house churches report that they will be allowed to meet three times weekly from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm on working days and from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on non-working days, while some provincial house churches report that they have been told they will only be allowed to meet twice weekly from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. One provincial house church pastor complains that this will effectively prohibit them from holding Sunday School classes.

Additionally, Havana churches have been told they will have to seek neighbours' permission if they wish to use electronic sound equipment including microphones and cassette or CD players, which is problematic enough (most churches count among their neighbors "Committees for the Defense of the Revolution" - a sort of neighborhood watch program that employs government informers across the country). By contrast, provincial pastors have been told that such sound systems will be banned altogether, regardless of how many members attend the services. "Imagine the difficulty," observes another provincial pastor, "of preaching to a group of 50 or 100 without a microphone."”



You can read the entire article HERE

One has to wonder where Fidel comes up with the time and the money to harass the Cuban Christians. The article never really addresses the question “why are the communists doing this?”

It does remind one of the anti-Christian bent of that communist founded organization the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU doesn’t have the ability to exercise the control Fidel and friends wield in Cuba, but given the opportunity …….


Please take the time to pray for those Christians living under communist rule in Cuba.


God bless America

Brad


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