A Canadian group will be donating one million Bibles to Cuba over the next eighteen months in an effort to support the growth of Christianity in the country.
The Canadian Bible Society, which publishes and distributes the Bible in Canada and around the world, will deliver the Bibles to Cuba’s population of 11 million, among which Christianity is growing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year, according to Christian Today. The country remains impoverished, and many families cannot afford to purchase Bibles even if they want them.
"There are far more believers than there are Bibles,'' Pastor Joel Ortega Dopico of the Cuban Biblical Commission, said, according to Christian Today. "Our initiative with our partner Million Bible Mission in Cuba will help to put a Bible in the hands of over a million Cuban Christians.''
According to the American Bible Society, which manages the Million Bible Mission in partnership with the Canadian Bible Society, the project in Cuba seeks to reach five distinct audiences: school-aged children receiving their first Bible, teens and college-age youth, adult new believers, prisoners and seminary students and clergy.
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"This is a country where scraps of Scripture have been passed on pieces of paper hand-to-hand between believers, because Bibles just were not available,'' Alain Montano Hdez, leader of the Cuban Biblical Commission, told the Gospel Herald, according to Christian Today.
Cuba has traditionally maintained cordial relations with Canada, despite pressure from the U.S. because of the longstanding Cuban Embargo, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. However, the recent reconciliation between the U.S. and Cuba has opened up windows for Canadian-Cuban cooperation, including new investment opportunities, as well as the Bible donation project.
More than 1.3 million Canadians vacation in Cuba each year, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Canada is Cuba's fourth-largest trading partner.