Many of the facts about our partners are a great surprise to many people, who assume that the church in Cuba had been eradicated or existed only as an underground remnant.
Not so! – the Cuban Presbyterian Church endured loss and hardship for over 30 years as many pastors and lay leaders emigrated and as the Marxist government made being “religious” a social stigma, but a faithful and self-consciously Christian community persisted in public worship and witness. Its schools were confiscated but not its churches. Being a Christian in Cuba was not dangerous but it was a great and difficult disadvantage. Those who persisted in such a course had to do so quite deliberately.
The situation is somewhat better now, but when the Cuban Presbyterian Church celebrated its centennial in 1990, the fervent prayers of thanksgiving to a gracious God were as much for the fact of its continuing existence as for its longevity.
Our ministry partners:
The Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba (IPRC)
The IPRC has approximately 15,000 members in 32 “organized churches” in three presbyteries – Center, Matanzas, and Havana. In addition to the organized congregations, there are about 20 “dependent churches,” missions and house churches. For historical reasons, all these are located in the central part of the nation. There are 39 pastors, including ten who are officially retired, though still active, and four now working or studying outside Cuba.
The IPRC is one of the founding members of the Cuban Council of Churches (CIC), whose immediate past-President is a Presbyterian layman, and is actively involved in the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), and the Association of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in Latin America (AIPRAL). The church subscribes the Westminster Confession of Faith, Heidelberg Catechism, Second Helvetic Confession, Apostles Creed and the Barmen Declaration.
For more information on the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, click here.
The Evangelical Theological Seminary at Matanzas (SET)
The Seminary seeks to provide a high quality, diversified theological education program to prepare young church leaders to meet the challenges of growth in existing local congregations and in pursuing new church developments throughout Cuba.
SET is owned and operated by the IPRC, together with the Episcopal Church in Cuba and was founded as a Presbyterian institution at Cárdenas in 1920. The seminary relocated to Matanzas when the sponsorship became ecumenical in 1946.
For more information on the Evangelical Theological Seminary at Matanzas, click here.