In Cuba, as in any other place, the Church should be free to define the mission it believes it has received; unfortunately, this is not the case. Individual Christians, Catholics and other believers must be free to practice their faith in whatever manner they believe necessary, so long as they do not deprive others of the same freedom. In addition, Cubans should be free to promote to their fellow citizens the understanding of religious freedom embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and other international covenants.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
Freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental human right that every person should be free to enjoy without restriction by any government or political entity or by fellow citizens. In Cuba, people do not enjoy full freedom of religion, and in fact, the state actively persecutes those who publicly profess a creed and who seek to put their faith into action for the good of their communities.
EchoCuba seeks to support initiatives promoting religious freedom throughout the island by partnering with on-island religious and spiritual groups that advocate for religious freedom. We believe that:
- Supporting faith-based communities is a sound strategic approach for strengthening civil society, as religious institutions represent the most cohesive, largest, and independent network of organizations in Cuba.
- Churches and religious actors leading the dialogue on human rights are advocates for constructive and peaceful reform and provide social services for communities and vulnerable populations.