Pastor in Cuba Sentenced to House Arrest for One Year
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia (Morning Star News) –
A civil court in Cuba sentenced the pastor of a house church to a year of house arrest for loud worship services before his attorney had an opportunity to defend him. Juan Carlos Nuñez was charged under the country’s environmental protection laws with “disturbing the peace.”
“Our mission is to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we are suffering for that cause,” Nuñez said. “We were treated as criminals and enemies of the government. We are children of God unjustly accused and convicted.”
Authorities deployed a force of elite “black beret” army soldiers at the courthouse the day of his trial. “This was a form of intimidation, a show of power,” Nuñez said. “You see, they feared there might be protests, because they themselves know that what they are doing is unjust.”
Conflicts like this exist because the government will not allow churches to build new meeting places to house the rapidly growing evangelical Protestant movement.
So, many religious groups used private homes for this purpose. Estimates of the number of Protestant house churches in Cuba vary, from fewer than 2,000 to as many as 10,000.