The Associated Baptist Press is reporting that two Cuban Baptist leaders have been arrested. They have not been charged with any crime and no reason for their arrest has been given by Cuban authorities. Here is a portion of the news report released by the Associated Baptist Press:
DELTONA, Fla. (ABP) -- Two Cuban Baptist leaders arrested Oct. 3 in the city of Santiago de Cuba remain in jail, reportedly without formal charge and with few details of why they are being held.Rubén Ortiz-Columbié, coordinator for special projects of the Eastern Cuba Baptist Convention, and Francisco "Pancho" Garcia, director of the convention's teen department, were reportedly carrying out church work when nabbed by authorities.Ortiz' son, also named Ruben, is a pastor in Florida. He said the two men were on their way to distribute money donated for Baptist work. He said his church, Primera Iglesia Bautista in Deltona, Fla., regularly sends funds to the convention for mission projects in Cuba.Observers in the United States familiar with the situation said they don't know why police targeted Ortiz and Garcia. Ortiz is a well known Baptist leader in Cuba and worldwide. He served as executive director of the Eastern Cuba Baptist Convention until his retirement. Since then he has continued to visit churches to determine project needs and help them to secure necessary funds and labor to get the jobs done in a volunteer capacity.Jose Norat-Rodriguez, area director of Iberoamerica and the Caribbean for ABCUSA International Ministries, said Ortiz and Garcia were allowed to see their wives Oct. 9, but the women were not told why their husbands were being detained. He compared the two Baptists to Paul and Silas, two missionaries delivered from prison though the power of prayer in the Book of Acts, and asked fellow Baptists to pray both for their release and for their families.
Christians all over the world must pray for these believers and for other believers around the world who are being persecuted because of their faith.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Christian Persecution