Cubans return to church

HAVANA – Marxist Cuba is currently experiencing a resurgence of Christianity, with Christian leaders taking a role in political dialogue with the government. As the country faces its most severe economic crisis in decades, church attendance is growing rapidly.

Evangelistic activity has been flourishing, especially during last spring’s Holy Week. Scenes unfamiliar since the 1959 revolution were played out, including nightly films for young people about the life of Jesus Christ which were shown around Havana. Church and government leaders agree that attendance in both Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations is growing.

The church is also taking a more active role in government. A letter from the Roman Catholic bishops touched off a furor last fall by asking: “Why do we not try to resolve our problems with all Cubans together, from our own national perspective, without anyone trying to set himself up as the sole defender of our interests and the arbitrator of our problems?”

While it is not known how many of the nation’s 10.6 million people are Christians, some leaders claim that church attendance has more than doubled in the last year. Some leaders say that the sudden surge of interest in the church is due to uncertainty brought about by the sweeping changes occurring in the nation. Cuba seems to be in the beginning stages of a spiritual awakening similar to the move of God which has swept through the former communist bloc in the past five years.

- The Washington Post

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