CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Cuban Pastor Sentenced to House Arrest for Loud Worship

A Cuban pastor has been sentenced to one year of house arrest for hosting a loud worship service by a civil court in Las Tunas last month, according to Morning Star News.

Pastor Juan Carlos Nuñez is a house church leader of Apostolic House of the King of Glory which has about 550 members.

He was accused of "disturbing the peace" by violating Cuba's environmental protection laws, and was permitted no time to prepare for defense.

"Our mission is to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we are suffering for that cause," Nuñez told Morning Star News. "We were treated as criminals and enemies of the government. We are children of God unjustly accused and convicted."

The worship service was being held at the courtyard of pastor's apartment complex, and some of the neighbors complained of the noise. Nuñez heeded to the neighbors' advice and switched to 150-watt units. Yet, the pastor said the case went to court.

Nuñez said the issue arose because government does not give building permits to churches to cope with increasing church membership.

"The government will not issue us a building permit," he said. "We could avoid this whole problem entirely if they would let us have our own meeting place."

An annual report released by Christian Solidarity Worldwide in 2015 said that men and women are arrested every Sunday and detained to keep them from attending Mass.

In March, a religious freedom activist and pastor Rev Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso was arrested, and his wife and two daughters were put under house arrest just prior to President Barack Obama's historic visit to the country.

Around the same time, 50 other human rights activists were arrested when they were on their way to attend Mass in capital city Havana.

The communist regime in the country is reported to have launched a campaign to crack down on Christianity by imprisoning pastors and activists, and confiscating and demolishing churches.

About 1,000 churches were confiscated in the first seven months of this year, and some 100 of them may be demolished.

"CSW is alarmed by the escalation of freedom of religion or belief violations throughout Cuba, but humbled by the courage and perseverance of the many religious communities who continue to peacefully resist government pressure," said CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas.

Tags Cuba Christian persecution, Pastor Juan Carlos Nuñez, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

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