One pastor who was persecuted by the socialist Cuban regime for his faith is warning Americans about the threat socialism poses to their freedoms.

Pastor Mario Lleonart Barroso, in an article for First Liberty Institute, described his experience of facing religious persecution under the socialist Cuban government. Pastor Barroso, who was born and raised in Cuba, served as a Baptist pastor in his home country from 2000 to 2016. During his time as a pastor, he’s had to endure much for his faith.

When he lived in in Cuba, he was detained by the government numerous times for no cause. Indeed, when President Barack Obama visited Cuba in March of 2016, Pastor Barroso was arrested for three days along with many other human rights activists. According to Pastor Barroso, this would happen any time an important figure would visit Cuba.

Since fleeing Cuba in 2016, Pastor Barroso now leads a church in Washington, D.C. and is warning Americans not to go the way of his socialist home country. He is speaking out and was able to share his story at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Liberty, a U.S. State Department conference on religious liberty held in July, 2019.

“When a nation with a democratic heritage is interrupted by a totalitarian regime that breaks the constitutional order and destroys foundational institutions, its first targets are precisely religious institutions, as well as individuals with religious beliefs,” Pastor Barroso warns.

In his article, Pastor Barroso notes that the Cuban regime continues to abuse and oppress pastors for their faith, such as Pastor Ramon Rigal and his wife Adya Exposito.

The couple have been arrested several times in the past few years for homeschooling their children. In 2017, Pastor Rigal was arrested and sentenced to a year of hard labor because he and his wife won’t send their children to a government run school. His wife was also sentenced to house arrest. Pastor Rigal was rearrested both in March and April of 2019 for the same offence.

“The realities that we lived in Cuba are not the ones that we want for the country that is now our home,” Pastor Barroso concludes. “That’s why we feel it’s our duty to alert our American friends that they do not make the same mistakes as other nations, like our country of origin.”

President Ronald Reagan was often quoted as saying, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” With more and more young people expressing support for communism, Pastor Barroso’s warning about the dangers of socialism are needed more now than ever in the United States.

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Photo from First Liberty