(Worthy News) – The first half of 2016 has seen church demolitions in Cuba gather pace as the government crackdown on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) on the island continues. The authorities have also begun to confiscate 1,400 Assemblies of God (AOG) churches that were earmarked for seizure in 2015, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
The latest report on FoRB in Cuba by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) details 1606 separate violations between January and July 2016. Cases include the demolition and confiscation of church buildings, the destruction of church property, arbitrary detention and other forms of harassment, in particular seizure of religious leaders’ personal belongings.
The government has continued to follow through with the confiscation of 1,400 AOG churches; 100 of those churches are under threat of demolition. AOG leaders and leaders from other denominations expressed concern to CSW that the government’s repression of religious groups has worsened significantly over the past year.
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