Cuban Pastor arrested for leading “illegal” church released after 10 days

Thursday, January 28, 2021

(Worthy News) - Pastor Karel Parra Rosabal, who was arrested and detained for 10 days in Cuba on the grounds that he leads an “illegal” church, has been released and told that all charges against him have been dropped, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports. Pastor Parra Rosabal leads the unregistered Fuego y Dinámica Apostolic Church in Jobabo, Las Tunas: the Cuban government refuses to recognize and register Apostolic churches.

Parra Rosabal was freed from the police station in Jobabo on January 22, having been arrested at his home 10 days earlier. He was told by the local Prosecutor’s office on January 25 that no charges are being brought against him.

In a report about the pastor’s release, CSW said: “CSW believes Pastor Parra Rosabal was targeted due to his involvement in the Apostolic Movement, a network of relatively large and independent churches across the island. The Cuban government has refused to allow Apostolic Movement churches to register, effectively making them illegal. Upon his arrest, Cuban police told him that he was being arrested ‘so that you learn that illegal churches in Cuba are not allowed,’” CSW said.

Parra Rosabal supplements his income by repairing bicycles from a workshop in his home, CSW said. At the time of his arrest, he was also accused of unlawful possession of his work tools, and the arresting officers confiscated $1,890 worth of his repair equipment. Following his release, Parra Rosabal was allowed to present proof of purchase of the tools, but his equipment has not been returned to him.

According to CSW, the continued confiscation of his tools may mean the pastor is unable to provide for his family.