History of Religion in Communist Cuba

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History of Religion in Communist Cuba Introduction: The evolution of religion in Cuba, after Castro’s insurrection in 1959, has included much suppression by its proclaimed atheist, communistic government. There are several reasons that account for why this suppression has occurred, coupled by a recent trend (beginning in the late 1980s) of a religious revival, and more importantly, a growing Christian population within Cuban society. This growing spirituality can be attributed to many aspects of the Cuban economy and society. Also, it is important to observe how Castro’s negation of religious and human rights was perceived by Pope John Paul II during his pilgrimage to Cuba in January of 1998. The suppression which has existed in post-revolutionary Cuba has not necessarily subsided, rather it has been manifested to suit the political desires of Cuba’s pontiff, Fidel Castro. Cuba's Religious History: Cuba has long since been considered as an island-nation without any necessary affiliation with the Catholic Church. In fact, prior to the 1960s, Cuba was considered the most "secularized" country within Latin America, with only a mere six percent of the population attending church on a regular basis. Instead, the practice of the African based voodoo religion of Santería has prevailed. Experts estimate that 70 percent of the Cuban population practices Santería. This religion was brought to Cuba by African slaves and combined the virtues of Christianity and with their native African beliefs. It is associated with Catholicism because Afro-Cuban deities have been associated with Catholic saints since colonial Cuba. The Afro-Cubans did this in order to evade religious persecution by the Spaniards who considered a... ... middle of paper ... ...nded at the conclusion of his reign as Cuba’s dictator. Works Cited Bohlen, Celestine. "The Pope In Cuba: The Two Men; Pope Captivates His Marxist Host." The New York Times. 26 Jan. (1998): A9. Kennedy, John W. "Cuba’s next revolution: how Christians are reshaping Castro’s Communist stronghold." Christianity Today. 42.1 (1998): 18-33. Larmer, Brook. "Cuba’s real religion." Newsweek. 131.3 (1998): 42-43. Olshan, Marc A. "Return of the repressed." Commonweal. 124.18 (1997): 10-12. Robinson, Linda. "Catholics, Cuban style: Castro stands to gain, not lose, from the Pope’s visit." U.S. News & World Report. 124.3 (1998): 42-44. Rohter, Larry. "After the Visit: Mission Lies Now With Cuban Church." The New York Times. 27 Jan. (1998): A3. Rust, Michael and Wagner, David. "Bearing Witness Against Intolerance." Insight on the News. 14.8 (1998): 31-44.

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