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USCIRF On Religious Freedom in Cuba

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Tuesday, 03 May 2016 16:53

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released it’s annual reports on the state of Religious Freedom throughout the globe. Countries are broken into three categories, Tier 1, Tier 2 and Other countries of interest based on the level of concern for religious liberties. Cuba is considered a Tier 2 country, along with other nations such as Afghanistan, Russia and Turkey. 

In the most recent findings on religious freedom conditions in Cuba, USCIRF found that increased government intervention and threats to permanently close and demolish church properties created a significant deterioration of religious liberties on the island. 

As stated in the report; “While the Cuban constitution guarantees freedom of religion or belief, this protection is limited by other constitutional and legal provisions.” In the discussion of continued targeting and harassment of independent religious communities, USCIRF makes note of the Cuban governments relentless persecution of the Apostolic Movement. Targeted harassment includes; “short-term arrests of leaders; government-organized mob attacks; confiscations, destruction of, or threats to destroy church property; harassment and surveillance of church members and their relatives; fines on churches; and threats to leaders and members of loss of employment, housing or educational opportunities.” 

Especially concerning is the continued harassment of Apostolic Reformation Revered Yiorvis Bravo Denis. The government of Cuba continues their attempts in seizing his family home and church. We are particularly pleased the USCIRF has taken notice of Reverend Bravo’s case and continue to urge the OAS to take action on our request.

Attorneys with PobleteTamargo LLP represent Reverend Bravo Denis and the Apostolic Movement of Cuba before the Organization of American States (OAS)'s Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR).

 

The full report on Cuba can be read here.

 

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Photo from Reverend Bravo's Twitter (@yiorvis2007)

 

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