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Book Of John Illegal In Cuba
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 By: Juan Paxety
Pastor accused of a crime
Printing copies of The Book of John (yes, the one from The Bible) appears to be a crime in Cuba. A pastor has been accused of subversive and dangerous activities by Cuba's Minister of Religion - who is, of course, an atheist. Agape Press reports:
Earlier this month, five plain-clothes police officers raided the home of Pastor Eliseo Rodriguez Matos in the Cuban city of Colon. The officers confiscated a printing press and printed Gospels of John, and the Assembly of God church pastor was taken to the local police station for interrogation.
Minister Caridad Diego says the small printing press used by the pastor is "very dangerous."
"It's just a small [device], almost like a mimeograph machine," (Todd) Nettleton points out, "and yet the minister of religion for the whole country of Cuba considers it to be very dangerous." Of course, he notes, the Cuban government has recently stepped up its campaign against unregistered house churches. In that environment, printing and disseminating the gospel is an activity that would prove dangerous indeed -- dangerous for the believer involved. (Nettleton is with Voice of the Martyrs, an organization ministering to persecuted Christians.)
Nettleton says the accusation is strange because he thought Cuba was becoming more tolerant of religion. He says there have been gospel festivals on the island, and that fidel himself attended one. Nettleton seems to have a lot to learn about fidel's island workers' paradise.