Catholic Church in Cuba
Catholicism has historically been the majority religion since Cuba's colonization. However, Communist Cuba is no exception to the ideological clash between Communism and Catholicism that was common in communist countries. After Fidel Castro's ascent to power in 1959, he imposed restrictions on religious activities such as Christmas celebrations, and in 1962 barred personnel of the Church from joining the Communist Party of Cuba - following a communist tradition of Marxist-Leninist atheism. However, Castro's efforts were not as successful as in traditionally communist countries such as the USSR or China.
When the Cold War ended, such restrictions were lifted and the atheist guidelines outlined in the Cuban Constitution were removed. Catholics have been able openly join the Party since 1990. In 1998 Pope John Paul II made an official visit to Cuba and met leader Fidel Castro in person. Castro honored the Pope publicly. Pope Benedict XVI visited in 2012, meeting both Fidel and Raúl Castro, as did Pope Francis in 2015.
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The Catholic Church body in Cuba is governed by the Cuban Bishops Conference. There are over six million Catholics - around 60.5% of the total population. The country is divided into eleven dioceses including three archdioceses.
The Catholic Church in Cuba has taken on a more politically active role than in many other countries. It claims to have engaged in discussion with the government on issues such as political prisoners and free market reforms.
- Archdiocese of San Cristóbal de la Habana
- Archdiocese of Camagüey
- Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba
- Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba
- List of Central American and Caribbean Saints
- Religion in Cuba
- "Pilgrim Pope: Pope Benedict XVI to Visit Cuba, Perhaps Mexico in 2012". Catholics Online. 11 December 2011. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2011.