U.S. religious freedom panel reports on violations in Cuba

A U.S. government panel on religious freedom has released a report detailing the violations against religious freedoms taking place in Cuba under the dictatorship of the Castro regime.

Via the Miami Herald:

US panel on religious freedom reports Cuban violations

Arrests, controls and surveillance of religious leaders in Cuba were detailed in a report Wednesday from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

A week before Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba, a U.S. government panel on religious freedom has alleged “serious” violations on the island, including arrests of pastors and “pressure to prohibit democracy and human rights activists” from church activities.

The violations also include government “interference in church affairs” and controls on “religious belief and practices through surveillance and legal restrictions,” said the annual report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

“Serious religious freedom violations continue in Cuba despite some improvements,” noted the report, issued Wednesday, which also listed a number of arrests and pressures on individual religious leaders, all of them Protestant pastors.

The panel also kept Cuba on its “Watch List,” along with Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia and Venezuela. Another list of 16 even more worrisome “Countries of Particular Concern” includes nations, like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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