Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Christians in Cuba
The Case of the Cuban Church
While most Cubans are Catholic, more and more people are Protestants who squeeze into tiny home churches to worship. The Cuban government made it so hard for pastors to get permits to build churches that they started to preach at home. Outlawed for decades, once house churches became legal, the trend exploded. But the Word of God remains strong in the hearts of the church body. More importantly, the common Christian, whether Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, or Episcopalian, has not lost his enthusiasm for Christianity.
The permissions process for everything from prison visits to building permits works well enough for those that are members of the government-controlled Cuban Council of Churches, an arm of the Communist Party. Nonetheless, the Cuban constitution protects religious freedom, however, in law and practice, the government places restrictions on freedom of religion. Nonetheless, all denominations have experienced a large increase in membership, such that neither the Cuban Communist Party’s office of attention to religious affairs nor the Cuban Council of Churches is able to provide even a rough figure of the actual activities of protestant movements.
While the majority of church leaders would likely cite the difficulty to expand their church buildings as a chief concern, other clergy cite frequent detentions, sporadic arrests and harassment. Between 2009 and 2010, one church had more than 100 of its members detained, usually for short spells, according to the U.S. commission’s report. Those pastors mostly lost jobs and homes and saw religious materials confiscated. Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a religious rights organization, said it is monitoring cases of continuous harassment of about three dozen pastors. A few were imprisoned and banned from preaching. Against all odds, the body of Christ in Cuba is growing and establishing Godly warriors ready to battle the spiritual wars of communism and persecution. They find refuge in the Word of God and seek the help of all Christians to actively pray and establish relationship with the suffering church. The biggest spiritual battle among Christians in Cuba is facing the popularity of African religions. As much as 80% of the population consults with practitioners of religions with roots in West Africa and the Congo River Basin, known as Santeria.

No comments:

Post a Comment