A Story of Persecution from Cuba

June 5, 2013 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution


While serving as president of the Church of God in Cuba, Carlos Lamelas attracted unfavorable attention from government authorities because of his successful church-planting ministry and strong stand for religious liberty.

One morning, security officials conducted a raid on his home and arrested Carlos. They falsely accused him of “human trafficking” (giving aid to Cubans who wished to escape the island without government permission), and imprisoned Carlos in Havana’s Villa Marita Detention Center.

Fellow Christians learned of his arrest and organized an international prayer and correspondence campaign that sent hundreds of letters to the jail. The letters made no political statement. Fellow believers simply sent Bible verses to encourage Carlos and pledged to pray for him and his family. Nevertheless, Cuban officials were convinced that people as far away as Europe and Asia were interested in Pastor Lamelas’s case.

Sometime later his wife arrived at Villa Marita jail for her weekly 10-minute visit and learned to her amazement that Carlos would be coming home with her that same day!

Pastor Lamelas was later acquitted of all trafficking charges but endured official harassment for five years before gaining political asylum. Carlos says he has seen God’s hand in many details of the ordeal he and his family endured, right up to the moment they walked into their new home.