Through all the island nation’s suffering, the church in Cuba remains an example of ‘how to practice our shared faith’
by Cuba Partners Network Steering Committee | Special to Presbyterian News Service
To our Cuba Partners Network family,
On Sunday, thousands of people took to the streets all over Cuba, and the news of protests has held us in the United States captive as we wonder what it means for our partners in Christ, the church, and the country of Cuba. It is simply just too early to tell.
But is not too early to pray for peace and justice and to reach out to our siblings in Christ. Below is a letter of support sent Tuesday from the Cuba Partners Network Steering Committee to the General Council of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba.
Although the internet has been down for much of the island and it continues to be difficult to receive updates from Cuba, we have heard from several Cuban pastors and church members who have all said that they’re safe.
Please keep an eye on major news outlets for reliable information. We often recommend The New York Times for recent news on Cuba, such as the article “Cubans Denounce ‘Misery’ in Biggest Protests in Decades“. Also, the Times Topics: Cuba page provides links to current reporting, including coverage of the recent demonstrations.
Please remember that this turmoil is happening in Cuba, not the United States, and we will follow the lead of our Cuban partners as we respond.
Merciful Lord, comfort your people and bring us peace. Bring wisdom to our leaders, justice to our communities, and abundant healing to our bodies and hearts.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Cuba Partners Network Cuba Advocacy Coordinator
Letter to the General Council of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Wednesday’s Su Voz [daily devotions written by laity in the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba] began with Scripture from Psalm 9:10: “Los que te conocen confían en ti, pues nunca los abandonas cuando te buscan.” (“Those who know your name trust you because you have not abandoned any who seek you.”) Rereading that devotion, we believe it to be prescient of the events which have occurred recently and our reactions to those events.
Cuban citizens have protested in the streets regarding unavailability of food and medicines, health care collapsing under strain, and a resurgence of the pandemic isolating people from each other. Through it all, we are aware of the part which our government’s policies have played in aggravating these issues: the closing of our embassy, restrictions on flights, shutting off channels of remittances, and the tightening of the embargo making it difficult for Cuba to engage in free trade.
Through all of this, you, our Cuban family, have continued to be a shining example to us of how to practice our shared faith: praying and working constantly to bring aid and relief to those who are ill, hungry, or isolated. You embody God’s power and presence in the world. We pray with you and for your welfare as we continue to work tirelessly to advocate a more humane approach to our international relations and re-affirm our support, despite many barriers. We will never cease praying and working with you, whom we love. To use Jesus’ image, we have put our hand to the plow and will not look back until the work is done.
May you continue to be the Church described in your General Council’s letter of June 26: “In the midst of these vicissitudes, the mission of the church stands in its capacity to confirm values, to unite, to heal. At the present juncture, we thank God because He has given us the privilege of experiencing that we are a true family, and that celebrating the good news is not limited to that sacred place which is the temple, but that through our gifts in the Spirit we maintain our bonds and commitments in multiple ways, as sacred as our sanctuaries.”
May God’s abundant blessings and comfort be with you during these times, and always.
The Steering Committee of the Cuba Partners Network
Editor’s note: The Cuba Partners Network is an organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), including those congregations and presbyteries of other U.S. Reformed denominations who are seeking to explore partnership with or are in partnership with the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba.
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