Evangelical Pastor and Wife Imprisoned for Homeschooling Their Children as Christians
Pastor Ramon Rigal and his wife, Ayda Exposito were sentenced to two years in prison for homeschooling their children with Christian values and refusing to allow the Communist regime to indoctrinate their children with Marxist ideology. which is founded on militant atheism.
The government has charged them with a crime of “acts contrary to the normal development of a minor.” Homeschooling is illegal in Cuba and state schools are of notoriously low quality, prioritizing the development of submissive citizens over life and professional skills.
Pastor Rigal, his wife and other Christian families are committed to educating their children at home according to their beliefs. Cuban Government officials are trying to extract from Pastor Rigal a pledge to comply with laws forcing their children to attend state schools. The officials are pressuring him to renounce homeschooling and his Christian faith.
Pastor Ramon Rigal with his children
Here is part of Pastor Rigal’s “Declaration of Faithful Disobedience”. The statement was smuggled out of prison: “In these past two years, our family – my two children, my wife, and I – have suffered psychological pressure and a war on behalf of authorities” … “This is about sending two parents to prison, mother and father, and taking our children away and sending them to a place to receive education imposed by a government, first of all violating divine law … violating natural rights like the rights of parents over their children”… “Only the Grace and power of God has given us the strength to withstand this pressure.”
Officials are retaliating against Pastor Rigal through punitive restrictions by denying him food and other necessities and allowing him only one visit a month. EchoCuba has only been able to bring him a little coffee, some food, and toilet articles. Medicines are not allowed-they are confiscated by the prison guards.