News and Facts about Cuba

Cuba, US on the Mend, But at What Price?

Cuba, US on the Mend, But at What Price?
By Heather Sells and Stan Jeter
Friday, January 09, 2015

Now that Cuba and the United States have unexpectedly decided to renew
diplomatic relations, many are asking – what’s next?

After five decades of cold war isolation, will the Cuban people
experience new opportunities, including new religious freedoms?

The questions began after Barack Obama’s surprise announcement
last December.

“Today the United States of America is changing its relationship with
the people of Cuba,” the president said.

“In the most significant changes in our policy in more than 50 years we
will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our
interests, and instead, we will begin to normalize relations between our
two countries,” he added.

The White House statement was matched by a similar announcement from
Cuba’s President , bringing new hope to many Cubans, and
especially to the island’s Christians.

The easing of restrictions for Americans could mean more Bible
training for the Cuban church.

Youth Pastor Jonad Garcia said the news made him hopeful.

“For many years getting a visa has been complicated for foreigners, and
specifically for North Americans, to come and… groups of churches,
pastors, missionaries,” he said.

In an exclusive interview with CBN News, Dr. Teo Babun, CEO of Echo Cuba
in Miami, said the U.S. policy change brings a new opportunity.

“We’re quite excited about it and we believe this is a new paradigm for
the Church and for religion in general in Cuba,” Babun said.

“We think that the Church will now be challenged to emerge as one,
independent, holy and passionate for Jesus Christ. So a smooth
transition is possible and we’ve been praying for this for a long time,”
he added

But while some church leaders are optimistic, Babun says they are also
concerned about unwanted imports, as happened in Eastern Europe.

He believes that one of the warnings for the church in Cuba is to “not
to be drawn away with false theology, bad partnerships, bad
associations, or bad covenants that may come because of the opening that
may take place.”

Babun says the changing relationship between the U.S. and Cuba also
warrants a call to prayer, especially that the U.S. and the Cuban
government will give priority to discussing religious .

He believes that “if the U.S. puts pressure on the Cuban government and
the Cuban government hears it, we will see an accelerated opening of
religious opportunities for us to do everything from sending more bibles
to sending more people to Cuba.”

In that way, the return of the U.S. Embassy in Havana could promote a
ripple of positive changes throughout the island.

Source: Cuba, US on the Mend, But at What Price? – World – CBN News –
Christian News 24-7 – –

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