According to a report by Christian Today, in July 2015 the International Missions Board sent 83,000 copies of the Bible into Cuba.
In 2014, the Cuban government, for the first time in nearly five decades, allowed the American Bible Society to bring Bibles into the country. So far it has distributed 60,000 Bibles, printed in Korea, through multiple ministry partners.
The opening of the door to the Bible was due in part to negotiations leading to normalization of Cuba’s relationship with the US.
The arrival of the Bible in Cuba is profound considering there is nearly a 100% literacy rate in the country. However, though they can read most people can’t afford to buy books which opens the door for free Bible distribution. Ministries are finding even those who don’t consider themselves Christians are interested in a copy of the Scriptures.
Other than a brief experiment with the idea in 1969, this was the first time Bibles were legally allowed into the communist country since Fidel Castro’s revolutionary forces conquered Cuba in 1959.
Castro ruled as the country’s Marxist leader until 2006 when for health reasons he turned over responsibilities for the presidency to his brother Raul, 83, who served as the country’s vice president.
For a few years, Fidel, 89, still pulled the strings from the background. In 2008, Castr0 gave Raul the full presidency and in 2011 Fidel resigned from his last official position on the Communist Party Central Committee.
Fidel’s declining influence may be another reason the country has opened its doors to the Bible. The government does not allow the Scriptures to be sold in bookstores, but allows churches to distribute them.
The American Bible Society is reporting significant Christian growth in Cuba over the past ten years. Attendance in Protestant churches has grown 300% and is estimated to be at least 900,000 people and this combined with the Catholic Church’s membership of a million, means 20% of Cuba’s 11 million population is involved in some way with the Christian faith.
The American Bible Society’s goal is to distribute one million Bibles in Cuba.
- Cuba sees Christianity boom as Bibles pour into communist nation: Christian Headlines
- A new day for the Gospel in Cuba: American Bible Society