Are you interested in religion in Cuba? Would you like to learn about the history of religion in Cuba? Our guide to religion in Cuba gives you the facts & information you’ll want to know.
Religion in general has been given little importance in Cuba since the revolution in 1959. The communist ideals harboured by the Government of Cuba are not compatible with the promotion of religion so the relation between state and religion has been tense in Cuba for decades. Slight improvements have been made over the past 10-15 years since the end of the Cold War. In the early 1990’s the constitution of Cuba was amended so that rather than being an Atheist state, Cuba is now a secular state. This has been a positive step for the followers and proponents of organised religion in Cuba and afforded an increased amount of room in which to be active in the field of religion inside Cuba.
Catholic religion in Cuba
Cuba had traditionally been considered to be a Catholic country because of its Spanish colonial past. Prior to the revolution in 1959, official statistics put 85% of the total population of Cuba as being followers of the Catholic religion. Today the figure is approximately half that, as this religion was affected in a particularly adverse way due to various conditions. Firstly, the wealthy middle and upper classes of Cuba were predominantly followers of the Catholic religion and these have been the segments of the population of Cuba that have fled en mass since the revolution. Secondly, many priests and other officials of the Catholic religion were expelled from Cuba due to their involvement in anti revolutionary activities inside Cuba. Because the majority of priests representing the Catholic religion in Cuba were not native Cubans, their expulsion left a real dearth of leadership inside Cuba after the revolution.
Afro-Cuban religion in Cuba
A large number of people in Cuba follow a religion that is a blend of African and Christian religions. The origins of this religion date back to the slave period when Africans would not have been allowed to practice their own religion. Instead, they ingeniously fused the beliefs of their African religion with Christian ritual and iconography so as to make it appear to their Catholic slave masters that they were now converted to the religion of their masters. Over time the clandestine nature of the religion became lost and followers of this religion in Cuba saw the Christian imagery and practices as part of their religion.
Protestant religion in Cuba
There are small numbers of followers of the Protestant branch of the Christian religion in Cuba. The largest of these religious groups is the Baptists, whose operational set up was damaged much less than the Catholics in Cuba due to the facts that it was less of a threat and also most of its pastors were natives to Cuba.