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Cuba was discovered back in the 15th century by the Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus, and became a part of the Kingdom of Spain until they gained their independence in 1902 from the Kingdom of Spain. Though the majority of the people that reside in the nation are Catholics, 60% according to the Roman Catholic Church, there are other significant languages in the nation as well. One of such religions is Santeria which is one of the Afro-American religions that was influenced by the migrants of the slave trade from the continent of Africa, more specifically Sub-Saharan Africa. The Roman Catholic Church in the nation of Cuba is governed by the Cuban Bishops Conference. Catholicism in the nation has been divided and is made up of effectively 3 archdioceses and eleven dioceses

Ever since the nation was colonized, Roman Catholicism has been the official religion of the nation. However there was an ideological clash between Communism and Roman Catholicism, as there was in many other communist countries. Fidel Castro’s ascent to power in 1959 brought anti-religion restrictions on the people of Cuba. He curbed religious activities like Christmas celebrations. In 1962 Castro forbade any Church personnel from joining the communist party of the nation, following the typical communist tradition. But he was just not as successful as some of the other communist nations that were traditionally secular, like China and as such some of the members of the church still became members of the national communist party, if they were able to effectively conceal their faith in the religion.

These anti-religious laws and restrictions were lifted after the cold war and the Cuban constitution was flushed from any of the atheist regulations and guidelines implemented by Communist Cuba and Fidel Castro, after the Cold war. Since then the Catholics have been able to openly and legally join the nation’s communist party. Popes have made more than one visit to the nation of Cuba, and, at least ostensibly, have been welcomed openly by Fidel Castro.

In 1998 Pope John Paul II made an official visit to the nation, where he met the then-Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. He was welcomed openly. The present pope, Pope Benedict XVI made another trip to the nation just this year and met both Raul Castro and Fidel Castro.

–Name Withheld

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