Christians Growing in Cuba, Where Witchcraft Known as Santeria Dominates Religion

ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD, CUBA – DECEMBER 4: (ITALY OUT) Adherents of Santeria, a religion whose origins date back to the African slave trade, celebrate Santa Barbara December 4 , 2002 in Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. Santa Barbara is an African god, or Orisha, whose name was changed from Chango by worshippers trying to keep alive their religion in the Caribbean during the slave trade by equating their gods with Christian saints. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Santeria — a form of modern witchcraft that fuses Catholic practices and African folk beliefs — is prevalent in Cuba. In fact, according to the U.S. State Department, some sources estimate that as many as 80 percent of Cubans practice Santeria.

But because of generous donors supporting Cuban church planters, a strong body of Christ-followers is growing in this once closed-off country.

Aleja, whose name we’ve changed for security, is a church planter who has seen the incredible impact your gifts have made.

Recently, Aleja helped plant a church in a neighborhood that was particularly opposed to the Gospel. The neighbors all followed Santeria, and every home was marked with pagan signs.

But eventually, the church members’ acts of love and service began to open doors.

“In our church, we not only meet to worship the Lord and build ourselves with His presence and His Word, but we go out to help the needy of the neighborhood,” Aleja said. “We share the blessings we receive, and in this way, we establish bridges of friendship and love.”

Like the early church in the book of Acts, this congregation’s compassion began to reach even the most resistant people in the neighborhood. However, one man held so strongly to his pagan beliefs that he threatened the church. He was considered to be the head of the cult, and his family was very influential in the community.

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Source: Faithwire