Cuba: Head of Protestant denomination placed under house arrest

Thursday, February 3, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Cuba’s communist government has placed the President of the Christian Reformed Church of Cuba under house arrest on apparently trumped-up charges of receiving illegal goods, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports.

Following a raid by government officials on his home on Tuesday, Reverend Yordanys Díaz Arteaga was first taken away for interrogation and then released to incommunicado home-confinement.

Prior to his arrest, Rev. Arteaga had withdrawn his denomination from registration with the Office of Religious Affairs of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, an ecumenical body that supports the government, CSW reports. The reverend was subsequently contacted by María de los Ángeles Pérez, who liaises with the CCC, and was told his decision to withdraw would have “consequences and repercussions for him in his leadership.”

The reverend had also received threatening calls from anonymous sources using vulgar language and questioning his integrity. In the last call he was told that if he did not stop what he was doing “he would see what would happen to him,” CSW said.

In a statement, CSW Head of Advocacy Anna Lee Stangl said: “We are extremely concerned for the well-being of Reverend Díaz Arteaga, whose only crime has been to seek independence for himself and his denomination from government manipulation, in line with the fundamental rights associated with freedom of religion or belief. We call on the Cuban government to return the possessions that were confiscated, to drop any pending charges and to cease its harassment of the pastor and his family.”