Cuban Pastor Jailed for Homeschooling Kids Told He Can Resume Work as Church Leader, but Can’t Leave His House

(Photo: Reuters/Enrique de la Osa)Worshippers carry a statue of Jesus Christ during a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession on Good Friday in Havana, April 6, 2012. Bells rang from Roman Catholic churches throughout Havana on Friday to remember the death of Jesus Christ as Cubans celebrated a holiday on Good Friday for the first time in more than half a century. The day off, granted at the request of Pope Benedict on his recent visit to the communist island, translated into quieter streets than usual, but only sparse attendance at a Mass in the city’s main cathedral presided over by Cardinal Jaime Ortega.

A Cuban pastor who was jailed and later placed under house arrest because he and his wife began homeschooling their children earlier this year will now be allowed to resume his work as a church leader, a leading religious freedom watchdog group has reported.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a United Nation’s accredited human rights organization, Pastor Ramon Rigal of the Church of God in Cuba made an appearance in court Tuesday where he was granted the right to resume his work for the church after he was initially barred from doing so upon his release from a correctional facility last month.

Rigal’s troubles with the socialist government began in February when he and his wife, Adya, were arrested for refusing to send their children to a state-run school.

The couple felt that the teachings their children were receiving in the state school emphasised a Marxist-Leninist secular ideology that cuts down their Christian beliefs.

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

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association reported that during the trial, Ramon wasn’t allowed to speak in his defense.

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

Rigal’s prison sentence was reduced to house arrest in early July. CSW…

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