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Cuban Pastor is Released from Jail but Kept under House Arrest

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Friday, August 11, 2017

Cuban Pastor is Released from Jail but Kept under House Arrest

A Cuban pastor who was put in jail for homeschooling his children will be allowed to continue his ministry work but under house arrest, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Pastor Ramon Rigal, of the Church of God in Cuba, was told Tuesday in court that he could resume his work.

Rigal and his wife, Adya, were both arrested in February for refusing to send their children to a state-run school. The couple had said that the school was teaching a Marxist-Leninist secular ideology that challenged their Christian beliefs.

"I brought evidence that my children were learning — notebooks and materials — [but] they didn't care," Rigal was quoted as saying.

In April, Rigal was sentenced to one year in prison and Adya was sentenced to one year of house arrest.

In July, Rigal’s sentence was reduced to house arrest, but he had to also enroll his children in state school when school started in September. The July sentencing also said he was barred from serving as a church leader.

The new ruling means that Rigal can continue his work as a church leader, but he still remains under house arrest. His children have also been given scholarships to attend an online course through a Christian institution.

"While we welcome the news that Pastor Rigal will be able to continue leading his church, he and his wife are still under house arrest," CSW senior advocate Anna Lee Stangl said a statement.

“We continue to call for the unwarranted sentences that he and his wife received to be cancelled and for the government to cease its harassment of the family and their church."


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Publication date: August 11, 2017