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Council of Churches of Cuba develops its social vocation

Havana, May 27 (Prensa Latina) The Council of Churches of Cuba (CIC) will celebrate its 83rd anniversary on Tuesday, immersed in the effort to promote meeting spaces and actions for churches and other Christian institutions to develop their social vocation.

The Christian-inspired, non-governmental, non-profit institution is legally established and recognized with its own legal personality in the Registry of Associations at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Cuba.

It has 28 full member denominations (more than 50 percent of Cuban evangelical congregations), in addition to 14 ecumenical centers and movements, which make up a total of 42 member institutions, to which another nine are added in the status of fraternal associates.

The CIC is in tune with the country in the search for its sustainability, the development of social services, the rescue of values, and dialogue with all players in society, and in its links with it to offer better community services. The Constitution of the Republic of Cuba establishes as the responsibility of its secular State the recognition, guarantee and respect for religious freedom, and establishes that different beliefs and religions enjoy equal consideration.

Article 57 of the Constitution guarantees everyone’s right to profess religious beliefs or not, to change them and to practice the religion of his or her preference, with due respect for others and in accordance with the law, and protects against criminal conduct related to any kind of discrimination based on religious beliefs.

In this regard, the new Penal Code establishes sanctions for those who prevent or disturb freedom of religion, even if they are public officials in abuse of their positions, and classifies incitement to imminent violence for reasons of religion or belief as crimes.

Religious institutions and organizations in Cuba carry out their social activities, the training of their personnel, the appointment of their hierarchy, and their movements inside and outside the country with total independence and autonomy, and their needs and opinions are attended to directly by the leadership of the State and the Government.

For this purpose, systematic meetings are held with all religious denominations, without any distinction within a framework of unity, brotherhood, solidarity and mutual respect.

This is a result of the full enjoyment of the right to religious freedom and the fight against intolerance, negative stereotypes and stigmatization based on religion.