Cuba has churches

Cuba: New church consecrated for the first time

The dedication ceremony for the Sacred Heart Church in Sadino, a small town in the western province of Pinar del Rio, took place on January 26th. Two more churches are already being planned.

Help from America

An American congregation supported the construction of the Sacred Heart Church financially: The members of the St. Lawrence congregation in Tampa (Florida) donated a total of 95,000 dollars to make the completion of the house of God possible.

"We knew that one day it would happen", quoted cath.ch the pastor of the Sandino parish, Father Cirilo Castro, who had closely followed all phases of the construction.

Despite the good news, the Cuban Council of Churches (CIC) has expressed concern about the US government's foreign policy. It had recently announced that it wanted to impose sanctions on Cuba. The CIC also described the United States' intention to re-apply part of the Helms-Burton Act of 1996 as a "worrying threat".

background

According to the Archdiocese of Havana, 60 percent of the 11.1 million Cubans are Catholics. In the communist-ruled island state in the Caribbean there are a total of 650 churches with 340 priests and 600 religious. After the revolution, the Cuban government adopted anti-religious measures that greatly reduced the influence of the Catholic Church. After decades of oppression, the situation of Catholics now seems to be improving for the first time.

(cath.ch/deutschlandfunk - rl)