Cuba may be starting to open itself up to the outside world, but the government “continues to repress dissent and discourage public criticism”, according to Human Rights Watch. “Repressive tactics employed by the government include beatings, public acts of shaming, and the termination of employment.” Still, as in China, the Church in Cuba is growing. Religious organisations are the only authorised assemblies, and their activities are being increasingly tolerated, opening a window of opportunity for social change through the activities of the Church.

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Cuba’s new leader ‘not a reformer’

Cuba’s new leader ‘not a reformer’

Raúl Castro, who replaced his brother Fidel as Cuba’s president in 2006, stepped down from the post this week, ending a decades-long rule by his family. His successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel – who up until now was the country’s first vice-president – takes on an historic leadership role by becoming the […]

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Cuba: Religious-freedom advocate freed after two days’ detention

A church in Cuba. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

A prominent Cuban religious-freedom advocate was released on Friday (2 March) after two days in detention, reports Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). Leonardo Rodríguez Alonso was arrested while on his way home from meetings with human-rights defenders on 28 February, and held without charge in the Provincial Unit for Investigations in the […]

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Cuba’s religious freedom violations ‘remain high’

Cuba’s religious freedom violations ‘remain high’

The latest figures on religious-rights violations in Cuba show a “general trend of a steady increase”, according to the latest report from advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). In 2017 the group recorded 325 violations of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). Last year’s figure is lower than 2016 and 2015, when […]

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Cuba drops criminal charges against religious freedom activist

Cuba might have dropped criminal charges against a religious freedom activist, it still actively limits, controls and monitors religious practice through detention, demolition and threats, a report says. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Cuba has dropped criminal charges against the religious freedom activist Fếlix Yuniel Llerena López, reports advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide. López, the Central Region Coordinator for the Patmos Institute, an independent civil society organisation that promotes freedom of religion or belief and inter-religious dialogue, was told on 2 October the […]

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Christianity once considered a ‘disease’, but now ‘tolerated’ in Cuba

Christianity once considered a ‘disease’, but now ‘tolerated’ in Cuba

Christians in Cuba used to face constant pressure from the authorities for being thought “anti-revolutionaries”. It was said that being Christian was a “disease”. They were prohibited from attending university and refused access to certain fields – such as politics, psychology, sociology and medicine. Many were arrested, detained, forced to […]

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