Plotting a way forward for American leftists, Cuba is seeking to curtail the religious freedom of the island country’s citizens. On February 24, a constitutional referendum is being voted on that will undermine Cubans’ ability to worship as their conscience dictates. “Undermine” even further, that is; the Cuban government isn’t known as a freedom-loving entity. Making matters worse, the Cuban government is pressuring pastors to promise to support the referendum by encouraging their congregations to vote for it. Leftists are so lazy that they not only want their victims to build the guillotine, they want people to pull the lever chopping off their own heads.
While there are countries with worse human rights records regarding religious freedom, Christians in Cuba worship under the watchful eye of a suspicious government. Over recent years, religious freedom has seemingly improved in Cuba. However, those gains have always been tenuous. The Voice of Martyrs reports, “Religious leaders are reluctant to say anything that could be construed as opposing the government in the fear that they will face repercussions such as a denial of permits from the Office of Religious Affairs. Evangelical Christians have reported harassment, fines and arrests for conducting public gatherings.”
The timing of the proposed crackdown on religious liberty is suspicious because, as Baptist Press points out, “The referendum comes amid a growth in Christianity in Cuba, Southern Baptists active there have said, including a reported 43,072 professions of faith among Eastern Cuban Baptists in 2017.”
You’ve got to hand it to the Cuban government. They’re not stupid. A healthy Christianity growing among the populace spells trouble for their oppressive regime. It’s no wonder, then, as BP reports, that the referendum:
[S]ignificantly reduces religious freedom and removes language in the current constitution regarding freedom of conscience, religious liberty advocates have said. Also absent in the proposed constitution is language protecting religious freedom as stated in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Cuba signed in 2008.
Pastors across Cuba are refusing to bow to the pressure from their government and are not planning on instructing their congregations how to vote on February 24. No doubt, the referendum will pass. And, no doubt, the courageous pastors who refused to participate in the curtailing of their religious freedom will face the “tolerant” sword of Cuba’s leftist government. Christians in America should be in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Cuba, and we should be preparing for the day when our religious liberties are taken away, too.