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Cuba: Persecution Against Christians Rising

In 2013, more than 80 members of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and Greek Orthodox faithful journeyed to Cuba for a six-day pilgrimage to visit Havana’s Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The pilgrimage was sponsored by the Order and led by its spiritual advisor, Father Alexander Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The trip culminated in a celebration of the Feast of Saint Nicholas and took place under the auspices of His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras.

The trip was remarkable in the context of modern Cuba, where, as is clear from this article, Christians still face persecution. The Order prays and hopes that the spirit of generosity and openness that characterized the Cuban government’s stance during the pilgrimage will prevail, leading to full rights and religious freedom for the Orthodox Christians and all the Christians of Cuba.

For more coverage of the persecution of Christians in Cuba, click here.

“Persecution Against Christians Rising in Cuba,” by Jim Denison, Christian Headlines, December 14, 2022:

When I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lᴏʀᴅ will be a light to me (Micah 7:8).

…The New York Times reports that the island nation of Cuba is facing the biggest migration of its people since Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959. The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with tighter US sanctions, has eviscerated the tourism industry, one of Cuba’s lifelines. Food is even more scarce and expensive; lines begin at dawn at pharmacies with scant supplies; millions of people endure daily hours-long blackouts.

According to a recent white paper for the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, attacks on religious freedom are escalating in Cuba as well. According to the report, “virtually all independent faith leaders say they are actively repressed.”

Many are facing death threats, violence, detentions, harassing phone calls, repeated summons to appear before the authorities, and acts of repudiation. Faith organizations are targets of high utility rates and tariffs that are “asphyxiating” their operations. Faith leaders and their families are discriminated against in access to education and employment; police interrupt religious services; Christians’ goods and services are arbitrarily confiscated. The report documents numerous specific and heartbreaking examples of persecution against Cuban Christians….

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