Between January and July 2017 Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) continued to receive multiple reports of violations of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in Cuba. Christians across a wide range of denominations have been affected, including members of the Roman Catholic Church, the Apostolic Movement, the East and West Baptist Conventions, the Evangelical League and Assemblies of God.
To date this year, CSW has recorded 185 separate violations of FoRB, many of these cases involving large numbers of victims. This is markedly fewer than the numbers recorded in 2015 and 2016, as the decree which outlawed 2,000 Assemblies of God churches during these years was verbally rescinded in May 2017. Despite this, should violations continue to be recorded at a similar rate over the next five months, 2017 will represent the third highest number of violations of FoRB recorded in any year of the current decade. One pastor recently stated that the Church is currently experiencing “the most savage of witch hunts” since the revolution.