Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pray for Cuban pastor and family

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has requested prayer for a Cuban pastor who has been imprisoned for six months and his family. Please remember this family in your prayers as they suffer for Christ’s sake.

Pastor Omar Gude Pérez was detained in Camaguey on 22 May 2008 and subsequently charged with “Human Trafficking”. Following his imprisonment, government officials carried out a full inventory of his family’s home and threatened to confiscate their house and possessions. They have not yet followed through on these threats but the family, unsurprisingly, feels extremely vulnerable.

His wife, Kenia, is only allowed to visit her husband in prison once every 21 days. She has complained that she is harassed by the guards when she visits. As in similar cases, their two children, Omar, age 14, and Kelia, age 11, are not allowed to visit their father.

Pastor Gude Pérez‘s lawyer is working to get him released on bail, at least until he goes to trial; however, no trial date has yet been given.

While the pastor has been charged with taking money to help people leave the country illegally, these charges are denied by his family and other religious groups, in and outside of Cuba, who are familiar with the case. Pastor Gude Pérez, his family and their church report that they had been receiving threats from government officials for months prior to his detention. They believe that he has been targeted because of his position as one of three main leaders of the “Apostolic Reformation”. This non-denominational, non-political religious movement is active in evangelism and church growth. Without association to international denominational networks, the Apostolic Reformation is particularly vulnerable to harassment. Church leaders have reported that their phones are tapped, leaders are watched and threatened, and many church members have been threatened with loss of employment if they do not leave these churches.

Prior to his imprisonment, Pastor Gude Pérez and his wife, Kenia, were working with another couple to start a small Bible school. As part of their ministry, the Apostolic Nations for Christ Movement, Pastor Gude Pérez and Kenia oversee several pastors and leaders across Cuba and have been working to train more leaders in order to grow the ministry.

We would like to ask you to join us in praying for Pastor Gude, Kenia and their two children, Omar and Kelia. Please pray for strength and hope for the family and for the pastor’s swift release and return to ministry.

We would also like to encourage you to send letters and cards of encouragement to the family to remind them that they are not alone. We have heard repeatedly from other Cuban families what a tremendous source of reassurance these letters can be and know that, especially with Christmas approaching, these will be a real blessing to the family. Letters and cards can be mailed to:

La Familia Gude Perez

Avellande 278 entre
Esteban y San Martín
Camaguey, CP 70100

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Erin for this report.We sometimes forget that the Cuban government is still very much propagating communist principles..Suzanna