Letter expresses concerns about Cuba’s economic crisis and tensions in the US with the Cuban American community
by Advocacy Offices of the PC(USA) | Special to Presbyterian News Service
“…God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ… And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation… We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors…” 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (New International Version)
Dear Cuban Siblings in Christ:
We stand before God today in the Spirit of peace, dialogue, and as ones who have been called to the ministry of reconciliation. We express our solidarity to the Synod of the Presbyterian Reformed Church of Cuba, to your local congregations, presbyteries, and especially to each one of your members and their families. And we send our continued prayers and solidarity to the Cuban people.
We are writing to share our concern about the recent events in Cuba due to the long-standing economic crisis and the tensions in the U.S. with the Cuban American community. We recognize and confess the part our country plays in the suffering of the Cuban people. The imposition of a blockade has restricted the Cuban economy for decades. Generations of Cuban men and women have been suffering from a lack of material resources, medicines, food, etc. U.S. policy has hindered the ability for Cuban families to maintain contacts between those who live on the island and the Cuban community abroad. In the case of our Churches, U.S. policy has caused difficulties in normal relations with our partners. But we continue to be committed to fostering a new momentum of hope for both countries.
We believe reconciliation is a matter of deepening fellowship with our siblings, striving to cooperate with them in mission and witness, and being transformed in the process. We believe in God’s sovereignty and God’s ability to work through leaders and nations with different beliefs — like the Persian emperor Cyrus, we are reminded by the Cuban church — we should not absolutize or demonize our political antagonists. Our faith helps us own our national identities and histories as gifts and burdens.
We have been closely following the ongoing events in both countries and have lifted both up in prayer. We pray the God of Life will empower and strengthen your communities in tirelessly working for peace, and discernment for your leaders, and citizen tranquility, and healing for the Cuban people.
May the God of peace and reconciliation shed light upon your lives during these times of trouble and give you wisdom for working towards the much-needed reconciliation process.
Faithfully in Christ!
Rev. Jimmie Hawkins
Director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Advocacy Offices
Office of Public Witness & Ministry at the United Nations
Additional reporting and resources are found here:
Click here to read “New Hopes and Policies in Cuban-American Relations: A ‘Nuevo Momento,’” the Social Witness Policy Statement approved by the 222nd General Assembly (2016).
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Categories: Advocacy & Social Justice, Peace & Justice
Tags: 2 corinthians 5:16-21, 222nd general assembly 2016, cuba, cyrus, New Hopes and Policies in Cuban-American Relations, office of public witness, pc(usa) advocacy offices, presbyterian ministry at the united nations, rev. jimmie hawkiins, social witness policy statement, Synod of the Presbyterian Reformed Church of Cuba
Ministries: Compassion, Peace and Justice, Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations