By BosNewsLife Americas Service
HAVANA, CUBA (BosNewsLife)-- The son of a devoted Christian pastor in Cuba has been jailed on false charges as part of a government effort to pressure his family to halt church activities though locals call them a "powerful blessing" to the community, Christians say.
Gabriel Jeyva, 19, was serving his mandatory military service when he was accused of "forming a cartel against the Cuban government," according to Christians familiar with the situation.
"When Gabriel's father went to the prison to visit his son, the guards refused to let them speak to one another," said the Voice Of the Martyrs (VOM) advocacy group.
"We know this is a form of persecution from the government to hurt this young man because he is the son of a pastor," who has been involved in church planting activities, added a VOM contact in a statement seen by BosNewsLife Friday, February 20.
Activists say Cuba's Communist government continues to crackdown on "religious activities" deemed dangerous to its power base. Especially Evangelical believers have reported harassment, fines and arrests for conducting public gatherings.
Amid the turmoil at least some "Christian leaders are reluctant to say anything that could be construed as opposing the government in fear that they will then face repercussions," VOM said.
It was not immediately clear when Gabriel would face a court. "Please remember Gabriel in your prayers, asking the Lord to strengthen his faith during this time of great trial," VOM wrote its supporters. Officials did not immediately react to the developments.
VOM told its supporters to pray for his release, the dropping of "false allegations" and an opportunity for him to "share the Gospel with fellow inmates and prison guards who do not yet know Jesus."
"Finally, pray that God will bless the Jeyva family and their ministry efforts so that their church plant may draw many in their community into a lasting and meaningful relationship with our Lord," VOM added in a statement.