The U.S. State Department on Tuesday released its annual assessment of religous freedom in Cuba.
Like other forms of liberty, the freedom to worship as they wish free of harassment, hostility and other repression, is a rarity on the island.
From the executive summary:
The constitution protects religious freedom, although in practice government policies and practice restricted religious freedom. The trend in the government’s respect for religious freedom did not change significantly during the year. While there were some advances in the ability of members of established churches to meet and worship, significant restrictions remained. The Cuban Communist Party, through its Office of Religious Affairs, continued to control most aspects of religious life. However, most religious groups reported increased ability to cultivate new members, hold religious activities, and conduct charitable and community service projects, while reporting fewer restrictions on religious expression, importation of religious materials, and travel. The government invited Pope Benedict XVI to visit and assisted in organizing papal masses in public squares in the center of the country’s two largest cities. The government’s repression of peaceful human rights activists, however, included preventing some of them from attending religious services. This trend was particularly marked during the Pope’s March visit, when the Cuban Council of Human Rights (CCDHRN) registered more than one thousand short term detentions.
For an example of how the Castro dictatorship targets many forms of religious expression, read this.