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Cuba's Church

By Editorial Staff
Published October 1, 1988

HAVANA, Cuba (EP) – The evangelical church in Cuba is alive but is “waiting for a revival,” according to Rodrigo Zapata, an expert on the Latin American church and a missionary with Heralding Christ Jesus’ Blessings (HCJB) World Radio. Zapata visited the communist-controlled country June 24-July 4.

“The Cuban church is in a period of transition,” he said. “It’s not dead; it’s alive. But it’s waiting for a revival. Some believers are fearful of the future.” Zapata preached in churches and led Bible studies for more than 60 Cuban pastors representing about 30,000 believers in the country, about 0.3 percent of the population.

There is no organized persecution of the evangelical church by the Cuban government, but resistance can come in more subtle forms, especially for those outspoken about their faith. For example, it is difficult for an active Christian to secure and to hold a job, according to Zapata, who said it is “not impossible, but difficult. The Christian has to be quiet so he won’t be betrayed by someone else who wants to obtain his job.”

In spite of the pressure, there are young, Christian professionals who are spearheading future growth of the evangelical church in Cuba, according to Zapata. “The new generation of Christians is a generation of university students and professionals, doctors and scientists, cultured people who are very well prepared and who have a greater impact on society.”

A number of Christian radio stations broadcast into Cuba: Family Radio from Florida, Trans World Radio from Bonaire, and HCJB can be heard clearly throughout the island nation. When he asked the 500-member congregation of First Baptist Church in Santiago which of them listened to HCJB, said Zapata, nearly everyone raised their hands. He also reported hearing of a church in the mountains founded by people when they came to faith through the radio programs of HCJB ten years ago. “Today it’s a strong church and has a pastor,” said Zapata.

Even though religious freedoms in Cuba are restricted, Zapata claims that the evangelical church has a favored position because of the country’s leader, Fidel Castro. Christians who fought with Castro during the 1953 revolution left an impression of the communist leader who “respects their prayers, their reading of the Word and their Christian virtues,” said Zapata, who added, “They are national heroes.”

But most of the atheist officials in the communist regime don’t hold this view. “In my opinion, if Castro were to be replaced, the evangelical church would suffer more persecution,” Zapata claimed.


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Latin America

Your comments are welcome!

I have the embryo of an idea of Christian familes in the U.K. going on holiday to cuba and connecting one to one with a family and being able to leave clothes etc for the poorest of those. Anyone I need to speak to?

Posted by nicky walker on 10/07/2010 04:24 AM #

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

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This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

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The United States of America 2.0: The Great Reset (Book)

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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

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