Date: December 21, 2022
Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following new report:
Cuba Country Update – This report provides an overview of religious freedom conditions in Cuba in 2022. Throughout 2022, the Cuban government continued to tightly control religious activity, using many of the same repressive tactics as in previous years, such as surveillance, harassment of religious leaders and laypeople, forced exile, fines, and ill treatment of religious prisoners of conscience. The state regulates and controls religious institutions through the Office of Religious Affairs of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party (ORA). The Law of Associations requires religious organizations to apply to the Ministry of Justice, where the ORA is housed, for registration. Unregistered religious groups are particularly vulnerable, as membership or association with an unregistered religious group is a crime. The ORA exercises direct and arbitrary control over the affairs of registered religious organizations, requiring permission for virtually any activity other than regular worship services. Religious leaders and groups that are unregistered or conduct unsanctioned religious activity faced relentless oppression from the ORA and state security forces throughout the year.
In December 2022, the U.S. Department of State designated Cuba as a Country of Particular Concern for committing systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations. USCIRF highlighted implications for religious freedom in Cuba’s new constitution in the July 2022 report titled Constitutional Reform and Religious Freedom in Cuba.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a commissioner, please contact USCIRF at