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BosNewsLife – Thousands of people have become Christians in Cuba and hundreds of churches are reportedly being planted across the Communist island despite reports of unprecedented persecution of Christians, including several cases of torture, BosNewsLife established Saturday, November 5.
Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a group supporting native missionaries in Cuba , said that “through one indigenous ministry alone, 4500 people were led to Christ [since] last year and 260 cell churches were planted.”
News of the alleged evangelical revival came as a prominent blind Christian lawyer and activist in Cuba, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, warned he had “no memory, during my forty years of life of witnessing the brutality we are currently experiencing,” especially towards Christian dissidents like himself.
Gonzalez Leiva, who currently lives under house arrest after years of imprisonment, said he established that Alfredo Dominguez Batista, one of the prisoners of conscience of 75 recently detained dissidents “and a profound Christian” was “coerced by the prevailing violence of the military personnel at the Provincial Prison of Holguin, to nail his hand on to the wood wall of his cell on October 17, 2005.”
Also last month “on October 14, 2005, in the city of Santa Clara , 800 paramilitary groups carrying sticks, metal rods, and other weapons attacked thirty-one peaceful dissidents,” seriously injuring several demonstrators, he claimed.
In addition “the deliberate distribution of large amounts of psychotropic antidepressants led the lawyer and prisoner of what is known as the ‘Group of the 75’ [dissidents], Mario Enrique Mayo, to attempt suicide twice, in the past weeks, in the Prison of Kilo 7 in Camaguey,” he said. The prisoner used “a blade to carve on his skin, including his face, including signs that read “I am innocent” and “Freedom”.”
Gonzalez Leiva added that “thirty prison guards dealt a horrendous beating to 34-year old political prisoner, Virgilio Mantilla Arango,” in the Kilo 9 prison of the same region. “His face was smashed…[and] he suffered a fractured shoulder bone and [injuries] all over his body, as well as a foot laceration,” he added.
In other incidents of torture penal authorities allegedly exposed death-row detainee, Hector Santana Vega, “an invalid prisoner, whose access to a wheel chair has been denied,” to three mock executions in the yard of the maximum-security Prison Kilo 8 in Camaguey in the last few months,” Gonzalez Leiva stressed.
“The Cuban government’s irrational politics has lost track of its own laws and is penetrating into the dangerous realm of crime and barbarity,” he said.
Gonzalez Leiva, 40, has been living under house arrest following his release from prison where he served over two years on what human rights groups described as “trumped up charges” of “disorderly conduct, disrespect for authority, disobedience and resisting arrest.”
He and nine other were arrested on March 4, 2002, after staging a protest at the Antonio Luaces Iraola provincial hospital, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) east of Havana, where independent journalist Jesus Alvarez Castillo was reportedly being treated for injuries from a confrontation with police.
“Our country has turned into a hell for all dissidents and political prisoners. A letter cannot begin to reflect our dismal reality,” Gonzalez Leiva stressed…[Go To Full Story]