Friday, March 30, 2012


CSW is asking the worldwide Church to send cards of encouragement to Cuban Christians who came under pressure in the run-up to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. This will show local authorities that there is international concern for the welfare of these citizens.

Prison used to stop Christian woman attending Sunday service

Caridad Caballero, a member of the Ladies in White, is just one of many Christians who has come under pressure in the run-up to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba. She was arrested and imprisoned over the weekend of 17 March, along with her husband and teenage son, in order to prevent the family from attending Sunday morning church services for the fourteenth week in a row.
CSW is encouraging the Church to unite as one and show their solidarity and support for Caridad and six church leaders.
By sending a card or a letter we can bring them hope and encouragement. This will not only provide them with emotional and spiritual support as they know someone is standing beside them, but most importantly at this time it will demonstrate to the Cuban authorities that they are not forgotten and that they are cared for.

Send cards to Cuban church leaders

CSW has provided addresses for Caridad Caballero, Pastor Reutilio Columbie, Pastor Francisco Rodríguez San Juan, Pastor Misael Rodriguez Cabrera and Pastor Yuri Castellanos Perez.
Important things to remember when writing to these Cubans who are persecuted for their faith:
- Do not include any political comment on Cuba or criticism in your cards and letters.
- If you receive letters requesting financial help in response to a card or letter that you have sent, always ask CSW about these requests before acting on them.
- Do not mention CSW in your cards.
For more guidance, download CSW’s Connect & Encourage booklet which includes details of many more Christians who need similar support.

Former prisoners explain vital role of oversees post

Time and time again CSW hear first-hand how cards and letters of encouragement bring hope and strength to individuals who suffer persecution and human rights abuses.
In Vietnam we know that 5,000 cards and letters meant the authorities could not ignore the plight of Pastor Truong when he was imprisoned without trial. We are also able to rejoice with families your prayers and cards have helped. On the release of Cuban church leader, Pastor Omar Gude Pérez, his wife told us, “we thank them so much because those prayers arrive before the throne and they are answered...”.

Caridad Caballero
Caridad Caballero Batista and her family have been banned from any religious activity since 8 January and were told they were on a blacklist of people who would be prevented from attending any of the activities around the Pope’s visit. She was arrested and held in prison during the Pope’s visit, and released as the Pope left Cuba. She told CSW, “Christ gives us faith; with Him we can climb mountains. We will never lose faith.”
Caridad Caballero
Calle 15 casa #9
e/22 y 26
Repar to Hilda Torrez

Pastor Reutilio Columbie
In February 2012, Pastor Reutilio Columbie was beaten so violently that he suffered brain damage. It’s believed that this attack was a direct result of his challenge to the authorities over their arbitrary confiscation of his church’s truck. He was found unconscious in the street after the severe beating, and now struggles with his speech and with memory loss.
Pastor Reutilio Columbie
Casa #27 Cabaña de rodo-Monterrey
Moa, Holguien

Pastor Francisco Rodríguez San Juan
Francisco Rodriguez, pastor of Cristo Rompe las Cadenas Church, also in Havana, has been harassed by the authorities in recent weeks, including threats of physical violence. The church is also not registered, but it is also part of the Western Baptist Convention. It is thought that the church’s ministry with vagrants and delinquents, who are mostly young people, has brought the pastor to the attention of the authorities. A member of a Cuban rap group which is openly critical of the government is also reported to be attending services at the church.
Cristo Rompe Las Cadenas Church
Pastor Francisco Rodríguez San Juan,
Calle Zaldo e/ Línea del Tren y Pereira,
Callejón Barreiro, Zaldo, Cerro,

Pastor Misael Rodriguez Cabrera
The pastor of a Baptist church, linked to the same denomination, in Alamar, Havana has been repeatedly fined exorbitant sums of money, equivalent to several months’ salary, since December, because his church building is not registered. However, officials refuse to process his case, and as a result, the church is in danger of being forcibly shut down. The pastor and his family have also been forced into hardship as a result of the exorbitant fines.
2nd Baptist Church: Alamar
Pastor Misael Rodriguez Cabrera
Edificio A54 Apto c1
Habana CP 12500

Pastor Yogly Gonzalez Pérez
Two years ago, Pastor Yogly Gonzalez Pérez, age 32, was forcibly evicted from his home by the National Revolutionary Police and the National Institute for Housing. According to the pastor, the police forced their way into the house when he opened the door in the morning, confiscated all of his belongings and put them into a truck. They forced him and his family, including his four year old child, to leave, sealed the house, where they had lived for fifteen years and which had been handed down to Yogly by his uncle. They have been homeless ever since and have had to rely on the hospitality of others. He is currently living with his mother in Havana.
Pastor Yogly Gonzalez Pérez
Calle Esperanza 214 Apt 12
e/ Florida Y Alanbique
Habana Vieja

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