Evangelical Pastor Ramón Rigal and his wife Ayda Expósito were both sentenced to prison after engaging in and promoting homeschooling in the communist country of Cuba.
“Homeschooling is illegal in Cuba, as it is considered a “capitalist” practice and prevents the state from indoctrinating children in Marxist atheism in public schools. Rigal has been homeschooling his children for years, forcing him into consistent confrontations with the Castro regime, and began helping other Christian families homeschool following his arrest in 2017.”
Rigal and Expósito, who are from Guatemala, were detained last week over their refusal to send their children to government-run schools.
In two previous cases against the couple, journalist Yoe Suarez reported, “the prosecutor indicated that education at home is ‘not permitted in Cuba because it has a capitalist foundation’ and that only [the government] teachers are prepared ‘to instill socialist values’.”
On Monday, the judge presiding over their cases found them guilty of “illicit assembly and incitement to delinquency” for helping other families interested in homeschooling.
Cuban state security wouldn’t let friends or family attend the sentencing and they got violent with attorney and journalist Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces.
“They punched me in the mouth, my shirt is bloody, and I am detained here now, I don’t know why,” Quiñones told a Cuban reporter.
Before the couple was arrested, they were planning on leaving the country for a nation that respects their right to freely educate their children.
Watch Rigal explain his situation in the video below that was released days before his arrest.
The case took place amid rising tension in Cuba after the country adopted a new constitution earlier this year that was met with opposition from religious leaders who say it weakens protections for freedom of religion.
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