HAVANA, CUBA (Worthy News)– There was international concern Tuesday, July 14, over the detention of a Cuban Evangelical pastor, after news emerged he has been sentenced to six years in prison on charges that include “counter-revolutionary conduct and attitudes” as part of what rights investigators called “mounting state hostility towards religious groups.”
The family home of detained Pastor Omar Gude Pérez will also confiscated as part of the sentence, trial observers said.
State prosecutors initially attempted to charge Gude Pérez with “human trafficking”, although these accusations were dropped in March 2009 after a court in the central town of Camaguey reportedly ruled there was no evidence.
However Pastor Gude Pérez remained detained and in mid-April new charges of ‘falsification of documents and illicit economic activities” were reportedly filed. The prosecution’s petition also accused the pastor of “counter-revolutionary conduct and attitudes.”
Britain-based advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which has been in close contact with the family, suggested that the charges are linked to the government’s concerns over his leadership role in the ‘Apostolic Reformation’, a fast growing Christian organisation;