These are difficult times for Christians around the world. The oldest communities of Christians in the world are being driven to extinction in the Middle East. Meanwhile in Cuba where the persecution and harassment of Christians had continued for decades things have gotten worse. Christian lay persons Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero were killed under suspicious circumstances on July 22, 2012.
In 2014, Raul Castro announced a reform that beginning in 2015 led to the seizure of Church properties. Maranatha First Baptist Church, a historic Church property was taken in May of 2015 under this new "law."
On August 16, 2016 Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported that the pace of church demolitions in Cuba was increasing. According to CSW in their latest report on freedom of belief or religion there were 1,606 separate violations between January and July 2016. This worsening situation compound the explosive growth of repression last year. In 2015 there was a tenfold increase in religious repression compared to 2014 with 2,300 separate violations recorded in 2015 compared to 220 in 2014.
Pastors have been harassed and beaten up by Castro regime agents. Christians are being dragged away from their homes and Churches. Scores of Churches are being destroyed.
These are some of the reasons why The Voice of the Martyrs says: Pray for Christians in Cuba as a crackdown against religion continues.