Cuban Prison Bans the Bible

HAVANA, SEPT. 26, 2003 ( Prison authorities in Camaguey, Cuba, have banned the Bible from inmates’ cells, according to Aid to the Church in Need.

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“Nine political prisoners, several of whom are journalists, used to read texts of the Bible aloud from their cells so that other prisoners around could listen,” ACN sources added.

“It was an original way to study the Bible and get spiritual support to these prisoners who are very badly treated,” according to the international charity.

ACN sends Bibles to the Catholic Church in Cuba, which are distributed through parishes and also to the prisoners through the Camaguey Archdiocese. Few Bibles, however, are allowed into the prisons.

ACN recently sent 32,000 Bibles to Cuba, including 2,000 to Camaguey. The Catholic Church is not allowed to print books in the island.

One of the prisoners involved with the Bible study group is the journalist Ricardo González Alonso, sentenced to 20 years because he was the editor of the magazine De Cuba. In the Caribbean Island, private publications are forbidden. In the last five years some 30 Cuban journalists have been sentenced to long years in prison for publishing privately, and another 60 were forced into exile for the same reason.

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