All posts tagged: Cuba

Cuba Credit: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

The struggle for religious freedom in Cuba

Though still a communist nation, in 1992, the Cuba government reclassified itself as a secular nation under its constitution instead of an atheistic one. At the same time, it also partially lifted restrictions on religion and since then Christianity has seen remarkable growth in that country. The country’s current ruler, Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel who died in November 2016, actually attended a Jesuit school before the 1959 Communist revolution. He has been in charge in Cuba since 2011. Under his rule, the Catholic church has retained some favor with the government and in 2014, Cuba allowed a Catholic church in Santiago to construct a new building. It was the first church built in Cuba since the 1959 Communist revolution. The government has also declared Christmas and Good Friday as national holidays. In 2015, President Raul met with Pope Francis and after his meeting commented that he was seriously thinking of going back to church. When reporters laughed, Raul stated, “I’m serious.” But there still remains a tension between the government and Christians. In …

Havana-based Eduardo Perez is promoting God through his successful photography business. He has taken to photographing Christian communities throughout Cuba. Photo: YouTube/CBN

The Cuban church thrives in difficult times

History has repeatedly shown when the Christian church undergoes persecution it thrives. We see this at the start of the early church in the Book of Acts where believers were martyred (Acts 7:54-60) and often thrown in prison (Acts 12). But as this was happening Luke says the church grew as people were added daily (Acts 2: 41-47). This happens because during times of persecution, God will pour out His Holy Spirit resulting in miracles, healings, salvations and rapid church growth. In a recent report on CBN.com, Heather Sells talks about the incredible growth in the Cuban church despite resistance and outright persecution by the Communist regime under the Castro brothers who have ruled Cuba for decades. Believers in Cuba go one step further and claim their suffering has directly contributed to the church’s growth on the island nation. According to the report, over 16,000 new evangelical churches have started in Cuba since 1995. There are two styles of churches in Cuba. On one hand there are churches that follow the traditional model of meeting …

Bibles pouring into Cuba for the first time since 1969

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 …

New, more virulent form of HIV discovered in Cuba

Cuban Doctors have discovered a more lethal form of HIV in some patients on that island nation. Normally, it takes anywhere from five to 10 years for HIV to develop into full-blown AIDs. An individual’s health usually plays a role in how quickly that happens. However, this new form of HIV is making the transition in three years and the individual’s health does not seem to be a factor.