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April 21, 2009

Jesus in Cuba

CristoHavana.jpg

In recent days, American foreign policy, President Obama, and Cuba have been in the headlines.

But honestly, the mainstream media is too pre-occupied about cell phone markets, tourism, and foreign policy to be thinking much about Jesus in Cuba (which has one of the world's highest concentrations of evangelical house churches).

I guess that's our job. CT has done two cover stories about Cuba in the past 16 years or so. And, we have talked about the three phases for religious freedom since the Cuban Revolution:

1. Persecution of the church and the faithful flock. (a dark and dangerous time)
2. Discrimination against faithful Cubans. (no jobs for open Christians)
3. Tolerance of Christian faith to the extent it does not actively resist rule by fiat from Fidel and Raul. (don't color outside the lines)

Here's the big question:

Do Cuba's Christian leaders fear lifting the embargo?

Recently we have talked with a few Cuban church leaders or those Christian leaders doing ministry in Cuba. To tell the truth, many are quite concerned about a sudden lifting of the embargo.

Those concerns include:

* Look at what happened in the former Soviet states after 1989. The free-for-all had harmful (and beneficial) results.

* Consider how local Cuban churches might be thrown into competition with each other for the flood of new faith-based money and Christian resources coming onto the island.

* Realize that lifting the embargo would introduce much more consumerism. In reality, the failed socialist experiment in Cuba has stimulated Cuban longing for a relationship with Christ.

As much as I might want to have the embargo lifted tomorrow and the Castro regime wiped out, these kinds of sudden changes often have a dark side.

Am I wrong to think that way? What's your point of view?

Comments


You are right on target brother Morgan.

Your also guess correctly when u say that it's the job of Christian Media like CT to report about christians and the Church in Cuba or anywhere else.

Not only the churches will have to deal with the issues you rightly mentioned, as they happened after the fall of communism in Europe and the USSR. But there are many other issues not only for the Church but for the Cuban people as a whole. We all know very well the kind of worldy and mundane type of people the majority of tourists are. What many of them are after is having a good time whatever it takes doing.

The people and christians in Cuba will be exposed to a kind of consumerism and materialism. That makes the free market and capitalism nothing else but the half brother of atheistic communism.

So let us all pray for this new situation, and for the people and the Churches in Cuba.

And what about our relationship with China?

It's the largest communist country on earth. With an even more repressive regime than Castro's. Christians are killed and tortured their for their faith. It has nuclear weapons pointed at us. Should we not place an embargo and break off all relations with it as well?


The Washington Times


Home > Opinion > Editorials
EDITORIAL: Christians unwelcome here
The Muslim world is becoming more intolerant

By | Sunday, May 17, 2009


As the West continues to reach out to the Muslim world with a message of tolerance, some Muslim communities are growing increasingly intolerant toward people of other faiths. A case in point is Iraq, where Christians are being chased out of their homeland.

New research reported by Associated Press indicates that the number of Christians in Iraq has fallen to between half and one-third of the estimated population of 1.4 million before the first Gulf War. Christians have been fleeing the country after being targeted in sectarian attacks, and most find the general climate increasingly less accommodating. After a series of particularly violent anti-Christian attacks in Mosul last October, leaders of the Catholic Chaldean church and other Christian denominations wrote a protest letter stating that "it seems that Iraq is one step closer to becoming an Islamic state intolerant to non-Muslims."

The Taliban last week threatened Pope Benedict XVI, whom they call "the most important personality in the Christian world," with violence over "stupid and irresponsible acts of proselytism" they contend are being conducted in Afghanistan by "crusader" missionaries. This followed edited footage aired on al-Jazeera that appeared to show the military's top chaplain in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Gary Hensley, encouraging troops to "hunt people for Jesus." Unedited footage released later showed the chaplain discussing in detail what constituted impermissible proselytizing and cautioning the troops not to cross the line.

For the Taliban, the mere presence of Christians in their country - not to mention Jews, Hindus and others - is anathema. Under current Afghan law - which is under the regime the United States and other Western countries are expending blood and treasure to defend - converting to another religion from Islam is a capital offense. Afghan aid worker Abdul Rahman, who converted to Catholicism, was allowed to flee to Italy after his arrest in 2006 created an international outcry.

During his recent tour of the Middle East, the pope denounced the "ideological manipulation of religion" and called for reconciliation between the various faiths. However, as the West promises, promotes and pleads for diversity, as national leaders travel to the Middle East to offer apologies and seek conciliation and fair play, the region answers them with faith-based apartheid. This is an issue President Obama cannot afford to ignore in his June 4 address to the Muslim world.

Click here for reprint permissions!
Copyright 2009 The Washington Times, LLC

Like in the Cuba case , many members of Christians churches practice moral relativism
They do not dare to demand from Communist regimes respect for basic human rights, but they accept all kind of criticism against The West

In the Muslim case, how many Christians denominations demand reciprocity in respect freedom of religion and human rights from Muslims nations. Silence is giving an seal of approval to double standards and abandoned brothers and sisters to a life of hate and persecution .

Shame anyone



The Washington Times


Home > Opinion > Editorials
EDITORIAL: Christians unwelcome here
The Muslim world is becoming more intolerant

By | Sunday, May 17, 2009


As the West continues to reach out to the Muslim world with a message of tolerance, some Muslim communities are growing increasingly intolerant toward people of other faiths. A case in point is Iraq, where Christians are being chased out of their homeland.

New research reported by Associated Press indicates that the number of Christians in Iraq has fallen to between half and one-third of the estimated population of 1.4 million before the first Gulf War. Christians have been fleeing the country after being targeted in sectarian attacks, and most find the general climate increasingly less accommodating. After a series of particularly violent anti-Christian attacks in Mosul last October, leaders of the Catholic Chaldean church and other Christian denominations wrote a protest letter stating that "it seems that Iraq is one step closer to becoming an Islamic state intolerant to non-Muslims."

The Taliban last week threatened Pope Benedict XVI, whom they call "the most important personality in the Christian world," with violence over "stupid and irresponsible acts of proselytism" they contend are being conducted in Afghanistan by "crusader" missionaries. This followed edited footage aired on al-Jazeera that appeared to show the military's top chaplain in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Gary Hensley, encouraging troops to "hunt people for Jesus." Unedited footage released later showed the chaplain discussing in detail what constituted impermissible proselytizing and cautioning the troops not to cross the line.

For the Taliban, the mere presence of Christians in their country - not to mention Jews, Hindus and others - is anathema. Under current Afghan law - which is under the regime the United States and other Western countries are expending blood and treasure to defend - converting to another religion from Islam is a capital offense. Afghan aid worker Abdul Rahman, who converted to Catholicism, was allowed to flee to Italy after his arrest in 2006 created an international outcry.

During his recent tour of the Middle East, the pope denounced the "ideological manipulation of religion" and called for reconciliation between the various faiths. However, as the West promises, promotes and pleads for diversity, as national leaders travel to the Middle East to offer apologies and seek conciliation and fair play, the region answers them with faith-based apartheid. This is an issue President Obama cannot afford to ignore in his June 4 address to the Muslim world.

Click here for reprint permissions!
Copyright 2009 The Washington Times, LLC

Like in the Cuba case , many members of Christians churches practice moral relativism
They do not dare to demand from Communist regimes respect for basic human rights, but they accept all kind of criticism against The West

In the Muslim case, how many Christians denominations demand reciprocity in respect freedom of religion and human rights from Muslims nations. Silence is giving an seal of approval to double standards and abandoned brothers and sisters to a life of hate and persecution .

Shame anyone