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1999 NCC News Archives

Cuban Evangelicals (Protestants) Conclude Month-Long Celebration
Final Event Set for June 20 Beginning at 10 a.m., Plaza de la Revolución José Marti, Havana, Cuba

According to the Cuban Council of Churches Studies Center, 300,000 Protestants and 280,000 Roman Catholics worship regularly in Cuba (1998). The Cuban Council of Churches' member churches, some of which are more than 100 years old, are deeply rooted in Cuban society. The Methodist Church in Cuba has tripled its membership in the past five years, the Presbyterian Church in Cuba is among the fastest growing Presbyterian churches in the world.

The Havana event – with many guests expected from abroad (including more than 20 from the U.S. National Council of Churches) marks the conclusion of a month-long celebration that has included dozens of national, provincial, municipal and local church activities across Cuba. It is expected to include an opening procession (with cross), a Celebration Choir, hymns, prayers, Scripture readings, testimonies and a sermon.

"The evangelical churches in Cuba have, for a long time, nourished the dream of celebrating a great Evangelical event in which all Evangelical churches could come together," according to a statement from the Cuban Council of Churches. "Never before had they the conditions and the possibilities to make this dream to become true. It is, precisely, now when they feel themselves capable to undertake this adventure of faith. Not with the purpose of proselytism, but with the aim of promoting Love, Peace and Unity among the Evangelicals in Cuba and among the while Cuban people .… (T)he events will be open to the general audience, to all persons which will be interested to listen the preaching of the Gospel, belonging or not to any religious denomination."

The (U.S.) National Council of Churches delegation will be led by the Rev. Dr. Joan B. Campbell, General Secretary, and will include delegates from the United Methodist Church, Church of the Brethren, African Methodist Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ/Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Progressive National Baptist Convention, and from the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta. Delegates' "hometowns" include New York City; Washington, D.C.; Manchester, Ind.; Atlanta; Bethany, Okla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Estancia, N.M.; Southfield, Mich.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Beverly, Ky.; Aloha, Ore.; Van Nuys, Calif.; Bozeman, Mt.; and Indianapolis, Ind.

-end-

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