Authorities previously demolished another church in Santiago.
The congregation of an Assemblies of God church stood outside singing and weeping as authorities in Santiago de Cuba demolished their church.
The Los Pinos congregation has operated for more than 10 years in this city at Cuba’s southeastern tip, but authorities decided it must be destroyed. They gave pastor Alain Toledano 12 hours to demolish the church building before doing it themselves. The church itself was hardly a building; it was a roof structure with open sides. On Friday, Oct. 30, state security officials showed up to begin demolition. They not only tore down the church shelter but also demolished the pastor’s wooden home, as church members sang hymns and wept. “The wave of persecution has arrived to the church,” wrote one Christian leader. The Assemblies of God, the largest denomination on the island, has been particularly targeted by the government in recent months, in part because of their vocal opposition to laws they view as openly contrary to Scripture.