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Persecution Watch: Praying for Cuba

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(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, September 8, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

CUBA:  Population 11.4 million, Christians 7.1 million

Since 1959, Cuba has been governed by the Communist Party, which seeks to control the church according to its Communist ideology. The government reacts harshly against opposition voices and demonstrators. When church leaders or Christian activists criticize the regime, they face arrest, closure of their churches or businesses, prison sentences, and harassment by the government. New churches are often denied registration, as the authorities want to control and limit the church’s influence. The government controls all media and restricts access from the outside world, so it is very hard for Christians to communicate widely in the country.

David Curry, the CEO of Open Doors, explained to Breitbart News in an interview last week what have you in Cuba is a communist regime who is trying to diminish the ability of the church to speak out.”

Cuba, is officially an atheist state.  In Cuba state-affiliated thugs have for years terrorized Christian leaders who support pro-democracy dissidents, in some occasions assaulting Catholic clergy mid-Mass.

“Cuba has jumped up now to number 37 on the WWL (# 51 in 2021) and while it’s not a huge country, they are beginning to get very serious about controlling the church,” Curry explained. “Christians for some years had some degree of freedom there and they dropped off our top 50, but now they’re back.”

Curry noted that Christian leaders in Cuba had found some “alignment” with the pro-democracy movement of the island. While true for decades – the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) has been at the forefront of the push for freedom since the 1990s – the Cuban Communist Party’s courtship of the Vatican had for years added at least a veneer of tolerance towards Christians to the repressive Castro regime.

“What you see is that there’s some sense of alignment between pastors and priests around individual freedoms and things which would challenge the ideology of the communist regime of Cuba,” Curry explained. “They would like to see them sort of stay out of these discussions and let the government do what they want. I think all of these dictators have a similar belief around that.”

“So, they’re beginning to say ‘Look, if you’re going to speak out against the cruelties of the government, we are going to crack down on you and make it difficult for you to get registered officially,’” Curry continued, “and those that are registered of course they have to toe the line. So that’s the game, a very dangerous game that’s being played in Cuba against the pastors and priests of that area.”

New churches are often denied registration, as the authorities want to control and limit the church’s influence. The government controls all media and restricts access from the outside world, so it is very hard for Christians to communicate widely in the country. The continued rise is the result of highly restrictive measures against churches deemed to be opponents of the regime – especially non-registered Protestant churches. The Covid-19 crisis has been used as a pretext to hinder church and community activities, monitor church leaders, make arbitrary arrests, confiscate private property and impose extortion fees. Christian leaders from different denominations were among those arrested during anti-government demonstrations in July.

National service is compulsory for men. If it’s discovered that they are active Christians or have Christian parents, they often face persecution if their commanding officer is prejudiced against believers.

Pastors – the majority of whom are men – come under particularly close scrutiny from Cuba’s Communist regime. They face beatings, arrests, confiscation of Christian literature, destruction of property and death threats. Children of activists or pastors are also vulnerable and may face mistreatment from their teachers and peers. An Open Doors source says: “Christian men and boys in Cuba are beaten adults physically; children in the soul.”  

Prayer Points

  • Pray for President Miguel Díaz-Canel,  (since Apr 19, 2018; re-elected on Oct 10, 2019) and party leader Raul Castro that God will touch them in a special way to recognize religious freedom.
  • Ask God to confuse and distract the local authorities and to misconstrue the government actions against Christians.
  • Pray for the protection of Christians that have been denied registration of their church and are. therefore, subject to much government interference
  • Pray for the Christians men who must serve their term in the army, that the Lord will have His hand of protection on them as
  • Pray to the Lord for resilience and wisdom for church leaders.
  • Pray that Congregations are not hindered to worship, despite the oppressive restrictions.
  • Pray for many Christian outreach teams to come to Cuba to encourage and minister to the saints.
  • Pray for the children of church leaders whose faith and names make them very vulnerable to persecution.
  • Pray for the government to be unable to use COVID19 as a pretext to make arbitrary arrests and or confiscate private property as well as impose excessive penalty fees.
  • Pray that Christians will be given wisdom and boldness and protection as they go out to bring the good news to the lost.
  •  Pray for NGOs to be able to continue to be active to serve the churches in Cuba
  • Pray that Christians have good internet coverage where they live and that the messages will edify them as well as touch unbelievers who surf the net.
  • Pray that persecuted believers will not become bitter and be able to love and forgive.
  • Pray to the Lord that in spite of the hostile climate more Cubans will turn to the Lord, that His church will grow because of the governments designs to control and restrict their lives.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

What is Persecution Watch?

Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.

We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

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