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USCIRF Welcomes the Release of Pastor Ramón Rigal, Calls for Release of Roberto Jesus Quinones Haces

USCIRF welcomed the release of Pastor Ramón Rigal in Cuba. Pastor Rigal was detained with his wife Ayda Expósito on April 16, 2019 for homeschooling their children over concerns about Cuban schools’ promotion of socialism and atheism. They were later sentenced for crimes including “other acts against the normal development of a minor.” Expósito was released from prison this past April.

Cuba Policy Update

This report provides an overview of the key religious freedom violations that occurred in Cuba during 2019. While Cuba adopted a new constitution in April 2019 that changed the country’s constitutional provisions related to freedom of religion or belief, violations have continued. Alongside the constitution, the government uses a restrictive system of laws and policies, surveillance, and harassment to control religious groups and suppress freedom of religion or belief. The report examines the ongoing issues, including the continued detention and harassment of religious leaders and the denial of religious freedom for democracy and human rights activists and independent journalists.

USCIRF Condemns Cuban Authorities’ Crackdown on Homeschooling Pastor and Wife

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today condemned Monday’s sentencing of two Christian homeschoolers, Pastor Ramón Rigal of the Church of God in Cuba, and his wife Ayda Expósito, for refusing to send their children to government-run schools. Charged with “acting against the normal development of a minor,” Pastor Rigal has stated that his desire to homeschool his children is based on his religious beliefs and his concern about Cuban schools’ promotion of socialism and atheism.

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