Cuba, a Latin-American nation known for its many religious diversities; the most practiced being Roman Catholic. The Catholic Church was introduced as a religious practice by the Spanish who colonized them. Other modern religions are being practiced in Cuba and others resort to atheism, which is the belief in the non-existence of a god or gods.
After the Cuban communist revolution, the authorities maintained strict policies on religious activities but became more lenient from the 1900s. There were permissions granted to faiths of the fewer number to worship at their various centers.
The Different Religious Practices in Cuba would include the following:
- Roman Catholicism:
About 60% of the Cuban population are practicing Christians of the Roman Catholic Church. The state had initially maintained strict rules against the practice of religion due to its communist government. But with time, the government became more lenient and the people of Cuba were allowed to practice any religion of their choice. The Catholic Church is led by the Cuban Bishops Conference. They are actively engaged in political reforms in the country aimed at achieving greater religious freedom for its people.
Protestantism came to Cuba just at the same time as the Roman Catholic Church. Their growth was helped by the American missionaries and today, they make up for about 11% of the entire nation. The Protestant Churches and other non-Catholic Churches would include Baptist Church, Seventh Day Adventist, and the Pentecostals.
Islam is also another religion being practiced in Cuba and as of 2011, made up for 0.1% of the entire population. With aid from the Turkish Islamic community, Islam in Cuba is starting to have a firmer hold.
Atheism has flourished in Cuba and it can be said to be an atheist state, though it has reduced the tight laws against other religions. Atheism is practiced by about 23% of the entire population. As other religions are given greater freedom to practice, this percentage would further reduce.
Santeria is one of the religions practiced by the people of Cuba. This religion was formed by the syncretism of the Yoruba religion practiced by the West African slaves and the Roman Catholic faith practiced by their slave Masters. About 13% of the population of Cuba practice Santeria. Due to their productivity and gentleness, the Yoruba slaves were a preferred choice for the slave masters. And as they came, their population in Cuba increased, as well as the spread of the Yoruba religion. When the government placed restrictions on the practice of other religions in Cuba, besides Catholicism, the syncretism of the Yoruba religion and the Catholic faith began as a way for the practitioners to continue to practice their religion.
- Palo Mayombe:
Palo Mayombe is another dark religion practiced in Cuba with origins from Africa. It is believed to have begun from Central Congo in Africa. As the slaves from Congo were brought to Cuba, they also came along with their religion; Palo Mayombe. This religion is believed to be the most potent and dreaded among all the black magic religions in Cuba. The priests and followers are said to have a connection with the spirits of the dead, and through them can create both negative and positive results.