Date:  April 29, 2023

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Last June, we asked you to pray urgently for an independent religious leader in Cuba, Loreto Hernández García. He had been forced to return to prison after State Security ordered his removal from hospital, where he was receiving treatment. 

Arrested following the July 2021 peaceful protests, Loreto is serving a seven-year sentence on charges of disrespect and public disorder – but according to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, he was imprisoned ‘for his religious identity’

Now Loreto’s family are gravely concerned for his well-being once again. As well as suffering from diabetes and hypertension, Loreto is showing symptoms which medical specialists say may indicate pancreatic cancer.

Yet Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior has denied Loreto permission to receive treatment outside the maximum-security prison where he is being held. Pray that this inhumane decision will be reversed.

A history of being targeted

Loreto was arrested after peacefully participating in the nationwide protests of 11 July 2021 – much like Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, another independent religious leader who is unjustly imprisoned.

Loreto was targeted because of his leadership in an unregistered religious group, the Association of Free Yorubas, which has a long history of being targeted by the government. Three other members of the group are also in prison in connection with the 11 July protests, including Loreto’s wife, Donaida Pérez Paseiro.

Please pray:

  • That Loreto will be allowed to access the specialist medical treatment he needs, according to the Nelson Mandela Rules*.
  • For miraculous improvement in Loreto’s health, as well as protection from further humiliation, ridicule and violence while in prison.
  • For the immediate release of Loreto, his wife Donaida, Pastor Lorenzo and all who are unjustly imprisoned in connection with 11 July.

*The Nelson Mandela Rules state that ‘All prisons shall ensure prompt access to medical attention in urgent cases. Prisoners who require specialized treatment or surgery shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals...’