A church in Holguín, Cuba is facing persecution, as its repeated requests to construct a larger building to support its congregation have been denied.
WORLD magazine reports Maranatha First Baptist Church was established 82 years ago. In 1992, during a time of eased religious restrictions, the church was granted permission to erect a building in the city’s center.
The church has since attracted hundreds of Cubans to its services each Sunday, and planted several house churches and missions. The congregation has overgrown its structure, but received an official rejection to construct a new building in early May.
Additionally, the Cuban government is seizing the property from the church and ordering it to pay rent in order to remain in the space.
Maranatha pastor Amado Ramírez Oliveros wrote in response, “This measure, apart from being unjust and arbitrary, violates the most essential principles of religious freedom that the Constitution of our Republic so much defends and promotes. We do not accept this decision.”