Cuban Officials Confiscate Bible Printing Press

Cuban officials confiscated a Bible printing press and interrogated a local pastor earlier this month, persecution watchdogs reported earlier this month.

On Oct. 9 in the city of Colon, Cuba, about 100 km (62.5 miles) east of Havana, five secret police officers raided a house and seized a small printing press along with printed gospels of John, which they said were “subversive and dangerous,” according to Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). The officers, dressed in plain-clothes, were accompanied by a truck with 12 armed, uniformed police officers.

The Minister of Religion in Havana, Senora Caridad Diego, who was contacted after the raid, reportedly called the confiscated printing press “very dangerous,” VOM reported. Diego is an atheist and supporter of the Communist government in restricting evangelism.

"It's just a small [device], almost like a mimeograph machine," said VOM Spokesman Todd Nettleton told AgapePress, "and yet the minister of religion for the whole country of Cuba considers it to be very dangerous."

However, Tom White, Executive Director of The Voice of the Martyrs, USA agrees that the confiscated gospels are dangerous.

“We agree with the government’s assessment,” said White. “The Word of God is dangerous. It can produce eternal freedom in the midst of evil tyranny.” White was a prisoner in Cuba 25 years ago when the plane he was dropping Christian leaflets from crashed and landed in the country.

In addition to taking away the printing press and gospels, the police also took Pastor Eliseo Rodriguez Matos, the leader of a local Assembly of God church, to the police station for interrogation, according to VOM.

The printing press and interrogation is the latest incident in a chain of offenses against Christians, most notably the new restrictions on Cuban house churches.

The 10,000 to 15,000 house churches on the island are facing complicated and oppressive restrictions for religious meeting in homes including a difficult registration and authorization process, regulations on the number of church meetings allowed per week and the time members are allowed to meet.