Cuba: An Atheistic State
For most of the past 40 years, Cuba has officially been an atheist state. From the 1960s until 1990, discrimination against Christians slowed the growth of churches. Christians suffered under Cuban communism. In the early years some pastors and priests were placed in “re-education camps,” a type of “concentration camp” where they were forced to perform manual labor in agriculture in order to survive—and where many met their death. These so-called camps were part of a rehabilitation program known as “military units to help agricultural production” or “UMAP” by its Cuban acronym.
Recently, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) documented a dramatic increase in violations of freedom of religion or creed in Cuba in 2012. In spite of persecution and government restrictions, there are approximately more than 550,000 protestant Christians in Cuba. EchoCuba wishes to educate Cubans about the increasing threats to religious freedom on the island. We are dedicated to protect and promote religious liberties for every Cuban.
Persecution Exists
EchoCuba organizes and mobilizes its supporters across Cuba to ensure defenders of Christ have a powerful voice. In Cuba, every aspect of life is controlled by the state. Freedoms in general—and specifically freedom of religion—are not fully available, and persecution of those who publicly profess a creed exists today.
Sunday after Sunday, state security agents have intercepted men and women on their way to attend mass, arbitrarily detaining them to prevent them from attending religious services. Freedom of religion is a right that every human being should be allowed to enjoy without restriction of any government or political entity.
Declaration Of Human Rights
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance." [Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights]
Church Leaders and individual Christians who are under pressure have told us that support through prayer, advocacy, and financial support makes a difference to them on a daily basis and adds a degree of protection for them and their ministry.