Population: 11.3 million (2011)
Official language: Spanish
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Comunidad de profesionales y estudiantes cristianos de Cuba (Koinonía)
Cuba is the largest country in the West Indies and the only country with a Communist regime in Latin America. The main religion is Roman Catholicism but various Evangelical denominations are present as well. More than 40% of the Cubans would consider themselves as atheists or non-believers. At the same time, Santería, a blend of African traditional religion and Roman Catholicism, is a recognized religion.
- 64 higher educational institutions in 15 provinces
- 8 groups in 4 cities, and pioneering groups in La Habana, Matanzas, and Cienfuegos
- 12 student leaders and 10 graduates, all volunteers
- 20-25 graduates
- groups in two high schools (40-60 students)
- all university groups usually have 10-15 students
- monthly meeting in Villa Clara (200-250 students)
Koinonía was re-established eight years ago following a major crisis at leadership level. The work has been slow and difficult, but significant progress has been made in the forming of new groups. They are moving forward to form a solid leadership structure. The movement is grateful to God for the students’ desire to carry the ministry forward, in spite of not being able to meet freely on campuses.
View from the inside
José Bonilla, the IFES coordinator for the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, says: ‘The difficulty to form groups in other cities has not prevented students from being in touch with other students in other cities to pass on the vision and to work on building new groups. There are increasingly more students, pastors and churches that know Koinonía and they are trying to draw near to each other to work together. We keep on working hard so that Koinonía may be a movement that is present in the universities of the 15 provinces of Cuba.
‘I am always encouraged by the apostle Paul who reminded the Philippians, as well as us, to be confident “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”’ (Philippians 1: 6)
- for the Cuban students of the movement to regularly keep their activities;
- for more resources, particularly financial, for local, regional and national training events which will bring a sense of belonging and a clarity of shared vision;
- for more brothers and sisters to pray for Koinonía, for more donors from within Cuba and from outside, to expand the ministry;
- leaders of Koinonía to be able to attend the IFES World Assembly in 2015;
- for the national Board, its General Secretary Julio Avalos and Board Chair, Ismael Alba.