The Republic of Cuba is an island country in the Caribbean. It consists of the island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. The capital city is Havana. The estimated population in 2009 was 11,451,652. In 2002 approximately 65% of the population was White, 10% was Black, and 25% was Mulatto. The Roman Catholic Church estimates that 60% of the population in Roman Catholic.
Working on the island in 1986 were two Anabaptist-rooted denominations and the Mennonite Central Committee.
The Brethren in Christ began their work in 1953, establishing a mission program that developed into the Iglesia de los Hermanos en Cristo. The two congregations formed have weathered difficulties and were active in 1987 as a registered church.
The Franconia Mennonite Conference (MC), founded the Cuba Mennonite Mission in 1954. The missionaries worked out of two centers, Rancho Veloz and Sagua la Grande, both located in Santa Clara Province in north central Cuba. Numerous witness points were established. Methods included teaching English, home visitation, home Bible studies, and radio broadcasting. By 1960, six missionaries were on the field. All of them eventually left as a result of the revolution (1959). Because government registration was not obtained, any Mennonite Church gathering became illegal. Therefore, in 1987, Mennonite converts were worshiping with other Protestant groups. After Cuba began to permit some visitation, a few Brethren in Christ and Mennonite leaders visited their respective people.
After 1981 the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) worked through church agencies in Cuba to help Cuban churches carry out their ministries, and to foster understandings between Cubans and North Americans. Examples of MCC work include helping repair a chapel, assisting in refurbishing a Bible study center, and contributing Anabaptist and peace literature to church libraries.
In 1992, the Cuban constitution was changed from an atheist state to a secular (lay) state. This shift resulted in the rapid growth of the church, especially the evangelical wing of the churches. Various groups came to Cuba as a result of this change.
In 2020 the Brethren in Christ Church was the only registered Anabaptist church in Cuba. Most of its churches were house churches. More than 700 cell groups functioned alongside the organized congregations. They had a leadership training center in Palmira, Cuba; Mennonite Central Committee and the Be in Christ Church Canada helped to provide leadership training for pastors.
The following Anabaptist groups were active in Cuba in 2020:
|Mennonite Christian Fellowship||1||20||2||19|
|Church of God in Christ, Mennonite||1||5|
|Congregación Evangélica Misionera||5||22|
|Iglesia Menonita en Cuba||3||50||3||50||10||100|
|Iglesia Misionera Anabautista - Menonita||8||70|
|Sociedad Misionera Hermanos en Cristo||76||3,278||156||6,217||99||4,259|
|Independent & Unaffiliated||3||23||1||4||1||4|
Mennonite Church Directory (2020): 34.
Mennonite World Conference. "Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Churches Worldwide, 2009: Latin America & the Caribbean." 2010. Web. 27 March 2010. http://www.mwc-cmm.org/en15/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13&Itemid=16.
Mennonite World Conference. World Directory = Directorio mundial = Répertoire mondial 2012: Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Related Churches = Iglesias Menonitas, de los Hermanos en Cristo y afines = Églises Mennonites, Frères en Christ et Apparentées. Kitchener, ON: Mennonite World Conference, 2012: 20.
Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 68.
"Peaceful waters: the Mennonite church in the Caribbean." Courier Correo Courrier 35, no. 1 (April 2020): 13-14.
Wittlinger, Carlton O. Quest for Piety and Obedience: The Story of the Brethren in Christ. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1978 : 516-518.
|Author(s)||Martin H. Schrag|
|Samuel J. Steiner|
|Date Published||April 2020|
Cite This Article
Schrag, Martin H. and Samuel J. Steiner. "Cuba." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2020. Web. 27 Jan 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Cuba&oldid=167766.
Schrag, Martin H. and Samuel J. Steiner. (April 2020). Cuba. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 January 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Cuba&oldid=167766.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 213-214. All rights reserved.
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