In spite of the rapid changes in modern Cuban society in the last few years, questionable articles continue to be written by those who have never been to Cuba. In this era of fake news and alternate facts, it is no longer surprising to read about “widespread religious persecution” in that country. Just keep in mind that if a Cuban commits a crime, such as stealing a truck, and is then sent to prison, he may claim he was jailed because of “religious persecution.” Then his relatives (who may believe him) write to family members in Miami. Soon there will appear articles written and distributed in the American media about “political repression” and “religious intolerance” in Cuba. I am not claiming this happens in every instance, but I think it is important to be suspicious about such articles.
About 10 years ago I visited Cuba with a mixed group of travelers, including fundamentalist Christians, who brought boxes of Bibles to organizations in Cuba. These bibles came through customs unimpeded. They were later openly distributed to Cuban citizens without incident. Since then, religions in Cuba have continued to make big comebacks. Remember, three different Popes have visited Cuba in the last 20 years. Pope John Paul made the first papal visit in January of 1998. Pope Benedict XVI arrived in March of 2012. Pope Francis visited in September of 2015, almost a year after the Normalization process began between the US and Cuban governments. Pope Francis and Havana’s Cardinal Ortega were instrumental in these secret negotiations with the United States. So does it seem logical that the Cuban government is now imprisoning priests from all over the island for no reason?
By the way, I want to mention that we will be starting our Catholic Culture Expeditions to Cuba beginning July 8. In most situations, groups will consist of members of the same parish, along with their priest. We are really excited about these programs. For more information, visit “Tours/Our Tours” on this website.
To read more about the current situation of religion, read “What’s the state of the Church in Cuba?” in today’s Catholic News Agency periodical. Click on the link below: