Humanitarian relief and prayer waters the seeds of the Gospel in Cuba.

By October 3, 2003

Cuba (MNN)–Cuba has been an atheist state for most of the Castro era.

In 1992, a constitutional amendment changed the state from atheist to secular, enabling religious believers to belong to the Cuban Communist Party (PCC).

Catholicism, is the most widely practiced religion in Cuba with remaining being Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews and Santeria.

In light of that, some experts say Cuba appears to be emerging from a cloud of oppression. News of the increased freedoms travels fast, and serves as encouragement to ministries.

Food For The Hungry’s Ben Homan says they’re especially targeting Cuba’s church this month. “We’ve intervened with some emergencies in the last year or so in Cuba that have not just been Food For The Hungry taking the actions, but we’ve been empowering the churches to step up to the plate and show people that God’s love is very tangible and very real.”

Homan describes this course of action as one that helps move them toward their goal. “One of the things that Food For The Hungry is doing in Cuba is training church leaders to have a mindset of reaching out in physical and spiritual ways to demonstrate God’s love.”

According to Food For The Hungry, church growth was rapid in the 1990s, despite ongoing hostilities and frequent harassment against Christians. The pope’s visit in 1998 sparked increased attendance at Catholic churches. But growth in Protestant churches has been spectacular, with churches springing up in all corners of the country since 1989. More promising yet: a high percentage of the new converts are young people.

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