Officials in Cuba Forbid Church Leaders to Attend Religious Freedom Event
MEXICO CITY, July 16, 2019 (Morning Star News) – Authorities in Cuba on Sunday (July 14) refused to allow the national presidents of two Christian denominations to board their flight to Washington, D.C., for a religious freedom event, sources said.
The Rev. Moises de Prada Esquivel and the Rev. Alida Leon Baez, both members of the Alliance of Evangelical Churches of Cuba (AECC, Alianza de Iglesias Evangélicas Cubana) were slated to represent the organization as members of its executive board at the event.
They were notified at Havana’s José Marti International Airport that they would not be allowed to travel to the U.S. capital because Cuban State Security had blocked their departure from the country, according to an AECC press statement.
Cuban authorities reportedly denied other evangelical leaders permission to travel to the United States. Officials earlier refused to renew the passport of the Rev. Dariel Llanes, president of the Western Convention Baptist Church of Cuba (Iglesia Convención Bautista de Cuba Occidental), reportedly to keep him from attending the meeting in Washington. Immigration officials also reportedly blocked the Rev. Alain Toledano Valiente of the Prophetic Apostolic Movement (Movimiento Apostólico Profético) from leaving the country.
The incidents were the latest in a campaign of repression against the evangelical Christian community in Cuba.
On Friday (July 12), State Security agents forcibly detained independent journalist Ricardo Fernandez Izaguirre following his
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