Cubans Flock To Evangelism To Fill Spiritual Vacuum Cuba has undergone a spiritual revival since the communist government eased religious persecutions in the 1980s. Despite Cuba's deep Catholic traditions, the fastest-growing practice may be one that arrived decades ago with American missionaries: evangelical Christianity.
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Cubans Flock To Evangelism To Fill Spiritual Vacuum

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Cubans Flock To Evangelism To Fill Spiritual Vacuum

Cubans Flock To Evangelism To Fill Spiritual Vacuum

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Mary Louise Kelly.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Unidentified Man: (Speaking foreign language)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NICK MIROFF: Unidentified Group #1: (Singing in foreign language)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MIROFF: Unidentified Group #1: (Singing in foreign language)

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MIROFF: Marcos Echevarria is the church's pastor.

MARCOS ECHEVARRIA: (Foreign language spoken)

MIROFF: Twenty-nine-year-old Nadiesca Cisneros joined the church when she was 14. Her beliefs made her stand out back then. Now, she says there seems to be a little church on every street corner in Havana.

NADIESCA CISNEROS: (Foreign language spoken)

MIROFF: Since then, the number of evangelicals here has grown from roughly 70,000 to more than 800,000 today, out of a population of 11 million, according to the Reverend Marcial Hernandez, president of Cuba's Council of Churches.

MARCIAL HERNANDEZ: (Foreign language spoken)

MIROFF: Enrique Lopez, a religion scholar who teaches at the University of Havana, said Cuban authorities have always been a bit wary of evangelism, given its close ties to the U.S. and lack of a structured authority.

ENRIQUE LOPEZ: (Foreign language spoken)

MIROFF: Unidentified Group #2: (Singing in foreign language)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MIROFF: Jorge Ortega, a pastor at the church, explains the restrictions that churches still face.

JORGE ORTEGA: (Foreign language spoken)

MIROFF: For NPR News, I'm Nick Miroff in Havana.

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