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ICC Note: After his church was destroyed earlier this month, Reverend Alain Toledano is now being threatened with arrest. Police informed him that charges would being built against him regarding “the alleged illegal possession of chairs and supports for the roof of the destroyed church.” Although Toledano was out of the country when his church was demolished, his wife was handcuffed and detained by authorities while the demolition took place.

02/24/2016 Cuba (Christian Solidarity Worldwide) – Reverend Alain Toledano, who leads the Emanuel Church which was demolished on 5 February, has now been threatened with arrest.

The pastor was told by the chief of police in Santiago de Cuba that charges are being prepared against him concerning the alleged illegal possession of chairs and supports for the roof of the destroyed church.

The police threats came after Reverend Toledano and a number of other church leaders held meetings on 23 February with regional Cuban Communist Party (CCP) and Ministry of Housing and Planning officials, to discuss the events of 5 February. According to Reverend Toledano, the First Secretary of the CCP in Santiago told the group that the belongings of the church would be returned and the question of the future of the property and the pastor’s family home would be discussed with government officials.

However, at a meeting later in the day, government officials and the police chief contradicted the CCP official and maintained a harder line, telling the church leaders that the “Revolution had acted correctly” and that the situation would remain as it is. They then informed Reverend Toledano that a criminal case was being built against him, which would be referred to a Revolutionary Tribunal.

Reverend Toledano, who belongs to the Apostolic Movement, a network of churches that the government has refused to register, was out of the country attending a religious event when the demolition of his church and home took place. He told Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) that shortly after his return on 12 February, he was visited by six state security agents, who warned him not to hold religious meeting or to “go out into the streets.”

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