The son of a Cuban pastor was detained recently, while he was completing his mandatory military service. Gabriel Leyva was accused of anti-government activities. VOM spoke with his father.
Q: Why was your son arrested?
A: For disobedience to the laws of the country.
Q: What did they say he wrote on the blackboard at his school?
A: Things against the government.
Q: Like what?
A: Down with Raul, Down with Fidel.
Q: What have the authorities told you about your son?
A: He can go to prison for three months to a year.
Q: How have you and your wife been? How are you feeling?
A: We are praying. All we can do is pray.
Q: How are things at the church that you pastor?
A: Everything is fine. They are praying. We shared what happened to our son.
Q: How long have you been in ministry?
A: I’ve served for 16 years as a pastor and as a missionary for five years.
Q: How is your son’s faith?
A: This test is helping him become firmer in his faith in God.
Q: How much longer in his military service did he have?
A: Only four months.
Q: How often did he visit home?
A: About once a month he came home, but we were also going to [the military base] to visit him.
Q: Did he have a Bible with him?
A: No, he wasn’t allowed to have a Bible in military unit.
Q: What kind of sentence is the military court judge likely to hand down?
A: We believe he’ll be given the minimum. He’s being held in a cell with 21 other prisoners.
Q: Last question: What should we pray for?
A: Ask that God will help him, that we’ll be given a miracle and that he’ll get out soon.