Alliance of Baptists to Appeal U.S. Fine for Cuban Travel

The Christian Century, September 5, 2006 | Go to article overview

Alliance of Baptists to Appeal U.S. Fine for Cuban Travel


The Alliance of Baptists plans to appeal a Treasury Department notice alleging that churches affiliated with the group violated rules regarding travel to Cuba and should be fined $34,000.

The notice, dated July 5, said itineraries of five churches that used the alliance's travel license "did not reflect a program of full-time religious activity."

The Treasury Department in 2005 suspended the alliance's license after accusing workers from at least one church of using the license for "sightseeing and beach time." Officials from the moderate Baptist group maintained that their activities were legitimate.

The recent notification, emerging from a second investigation, said the alliance should also be fined. The actions come at a time when the Bush administration has been tightening sanctions against Cuba, including blocking humanitarian aid from reaching the Cuban Council of Churches.

Stan Hastey, executive director of the Washington-based alliance, said a majority of the group's board members have asked him to send a written response appealing the notice from the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. …

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