14ymedio, Havana, 5 February 2016 – The evangelical pastor Marilin Alayo was arrested today, Friday, during the demolition of a temple in the Abel Santamaria district in Santiago de Cuba, as reported to this newspaper by Pastor Bernardo de Quesada, founder of the Apostolic Move, a Christian movement that separated from the Cuban Council of Churches in 2003.
The demolition comes at a time when the church pastor and Alayo’s husband, Alain Toledano, is traveling in Miami.
Pastor Toledano explained through a message on Facebook that, so far, he has been unable to talk to his wife, who is still being held incommunicado, along with pastors of the network and the local church. “More than 40 of our spiritual children are detained in the school in the municipality of Guama, they were beaten, abused, threatened. The other disciples do not know where they are, there are many people detained and so far we do not know where they are,” he wrote.
The three daughters of the pastor were staying with relatives.
“The intention is not only to demolish the temple, but remove the family property,” says De Quesada.
Liudmila Cedeño, an activist with the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), confirmed to 14ymedio that at 5:00 am on Friday a large group of people, among whom were prosecutors, police and officials from the Institute of Physical Planning, proceeded to demolish the temple of the apostolic ministry.
A few months ago, Toledano told Martí Noticias that last 13 October a man who identified himself as an official of the Communist Party of Cuba showed up at the house that serves as the congregation’s temple and informed him that “the Revolution had a Community project” and that the government needed the land.
The pastor claims to be the owner of the house and turned down the offer of an apartment by the authorities. “I said we had no interest in moving anywhere because their objective is to make the church disappear,” he told Martí Noticias.
The official informed him that “the Revolution would not stop its project” and that “one way or another” his family had to leave the land.