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Activists to Hold Prayer Vigil and Demonstration at the White House in Support of Cuban Church and Religious Freedom

Contact: Rev. Patrick Mahoney, 540-538-4741

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- President Obama to become the first American President to visit the nation of Cuba in almost 80 years on March 20-21.

The prayer vigil will be on Sunday, March 20, at 3:00 p.m. in front of the White House. (Pennsylvania Ave. NW side.)

The activists will call upon President Obama to speak out publicly against the Castro government's policy of religious persecution against Christians along with the crushing human rights and free speech of political dissidents.

Leaders call it very troubling that President Obama is more interesting in releasing terrorists from Cuban prisons that human rights activists and faith leaders from Cuban jails.

The Obama Administration cannot move forward with the normalization of relations with Cuba while these gross violations of human rights and religious freedom are taking place.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Pastor of Church on the Hill and Director of the Christian Defense Coalition both based in Washington, D.C., has a long history of standing for religious freedom and human rights in the nation of Cuba.  While serving as a pastor in south Florida, he was a vocal opponent of the Castro regime and led demonstrations in our nation's capital against the return of Elian Gonzalez.

Rev. Mahoney states; 

    "It is very troubling and disturbing that President Obama is more interested in releasing terrorists from Cuban prisons than he is for publicly working to release Christians, political dissidents and human rights activists from Cuban jails.

    "In the past two years, 100 churches have been demolished in Cuba with over 2,000 shut down.  There has also been increased persecution on political dissidents and critics of the Castro government.  President Obama needs to be reminded, as he shakes the hand of Castro and other Cuban leaders, he is shaking the hands of leaders who have brutalized their citizens, killed those who disagreed with them, crushed human rights and persecuted the Cuban church and religious freedom.

    "We are not interested in President Obama having 'private' meetings with leaders on these matters.  He must address them publicly.  The Obama Administration also cannot move forward to normalize relations with Cuba while these gross violations of human rights and religious freedoms are still in place.

    "We will continue to pray for our brothers and sisters and stand in solidarity with them in their desire to freely and openly worship God."

Cassadra Collins, Communications Director for Hillside Mission Organization based in Richmond, Virginia; adds;

    "Hillside Missions Organization is a Christian non-profit organization partnering with works in over 30 countries around the world.

    "In response to the ongoing persecution of church communities in Cuba, Hillside Missions Organization is joining Reverend Patrick Mahoney to pray for Christians around Cuba. Because we love God, we care about believers around the world and we advocate on their behalf when they experience unjust treatment. The ongoing repression of Christianity, closure of churches, and arrests of pastors in Cuba demands a response from us.

    "Hillside Missions is praying for the reopening of churches and for Cuban Christians to have the freedom to meet and worship freely. We urge Christian communities around America to join us in prayer for Cuban Christians, and to advocate for religious freedom in Cuba."

For more information on interviews please contact

Rev. Patrick Mahoney at 540.538.4741