Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

3/28/2011 Cuba (CWS) – Cuban pastor Omar Gude Perez, who was granted conditional release from a
six-and-a-half year prison sentence in February, was informed by judges in early March that under the conditions of his release, he is prohibited from preaching and has had his movements confined to the city of Camaguey.

Pastor Gude Perez, a leader of a fast growing network of independent churches, was convicted in a summary trial in July 2009 on trumped up charges of “falsification of documents”.

The charge of “falsification of documents” was based on accusations that he had illegally taken his stepfather’s surname. However, once it was decided to grant him conditional liberty, according to Gude Perez, the courts took almost a month to define the conditions of his release because official
records show that his legal surname is indeed Gude Perez, contradicting the original court decision that led to his conviction and prison sentence.

He was originally detained in May 2008 and charged with “human trafficking”, charges which were later thrown out as baseless by judges in Havana. He and his family believe he was targeted because of his leadership position in the church network, which has been denied official recognition.

Speaking to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Gude Perez described the conditions during his time in jail as “torturous”, explaining that his weight dropped 60 pounds (27.2 kilogrammes) over the course of 56 days. As punishment for sharing his faith with his fellow prisoners, he was moved to
a cell with the most violent criminals who told him they had been given the green light by prison officials to attack him physically. Pastor Gude Perez’s experience matches that of other prisoners of conscience, who consistently report being intentionally housed with violent inmates.

CSW’s National Director Stuart Windsor said, “We are relieved to learn that Pastor Gude Perez has finally been released from prison after spending almost three years there, in horrendous conditions, on false charges. We are deeply concerned that as a condition of his release, Pastor Gude Perez
has been prohibited from preaching, although this also exposes the government’s motives behind its persecution of him.

See Full Story