March 15, 2012
A Pentecostal pastor in Cuba is recovering from brain damage after he was assaulted while trying to challenge the confiscation of a church truck by Communist authorities, International Christian Concern reports. Pastor Reutilio Columbie, 41, of the Shalom Christian Centre congregation in the city of Moa was attacked Feb. 6 while traveling to the capital of Holguin Province to file a complaint against the confiscation of the vehicle, which he used to transport church members. He was found unconscious in a nearby street several hours after leaving his home and was taken to the hospital with severe brain inflammation. Columbie, who is still dizzy and struggling with speech and memory, says he doesn't remember anything about the attack, but the only missing from his possession were the papers related to the vehicle. "It is believed that the assault was the result of the pastor's decision to challenge the arbitrary confiscation of a church vehicle by the authorities," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a rights group investigating the case.