Report Documents Impact Of Christianity On the July 11 Anti-Communist Uprising in Cuba
The report concludes that the Cuban protesters have called for the right of all to freely practice Christianity, and for greater fundamental freedoms. International community must promote religious freedom by drawing attention to the injustice against practicing believers.
The United States Commission for International Religious Freedom, in the document called the list of facts published on Wednesday, has denounced Cuba's Communist regime's persecution of the Christian believers.
The police ban unjustly imprisoned protesters from prayers and reading Bible and religious groups, the document states. The protesters took on the streets also to demand the freedom to practice Christianity after police used the pandemic to crackdown not only on the public gatherings, like meetings in houses of prayer, but private life, the author emphasises.
The report highlights that the pattern of denial of religious support to protesters has characterised regime policies before and after the anti-Communist Uprising.
For example, in November 2020, police persecuted members of the San Isidro Movement. The secret operatives harassed, monitored, and prevented some of its members and supporters from practicing Christianity at home or leaving for public meetings.
Communist police targeted at first the religious leaders who participated in the July 11 protests. The agents unjustly imprisoned Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, a member of the Apostolic Movement, and his 17-year-old son in Santiago de Cuba at the peaceful protest on July 11.
Likewise, police arrested pastor Yeremi Blanco Ramírez and Yarian Sierra Madrigal, two pastors from the Berea Baptist Mission in Matanza who protested peacefully. The regime retaliated against their families, who revealed that the pastors were incarcerated.
Catholic priest, Father Castor José Álvarez Devesa attended the protests in Camagüey, when authorities reportedly beat him with a bat. When bleeding went to seek medical attention, he was arrested. Father Álvarez has been a strong critic of the Cuban regime and called for greater religious freedom in Cuba, including in a 2018 open letter to Raúl Castro.
Ms. Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, has also been harassed. Police did not allow her to participate in the mass. Female secret police agents broke into her home when she prayed on her knees, the report informs.
The authors of the report emphasised that the Cuban people have called for greater fundamental freedoms, including the right of all to freely practice religion.
To increase the impact of the sanctions and further pressure Cuban authorities to release these detained individuals, the United States must continue to collaborate with international partners, including through the Organisation of American States, stated the authors of the USCIRF report.