Cuba - Religions
The Roman Catholic Church has never been as influential in Cuba as in other Latin American countries. In the 1950s, approximately 85% of all Cubans were nominally Roman Catholic, but the Church itself conceded that only about 10% were active members.
From the early-1980s into the 1990s, Roman Catholics represented about 40% of the population. A 2002 report indicated that only about 40 to 45% of the population were nominally Catholic. Some sources indicate that a large number of the population adhere to varying degrees of syncretic Afro-Caribbean, such as Santería. The Baptists are believed to be the largest Protestant denomination. Other denominations include Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, Episcopalians, the Assembly of God, and Presbyterians. There is a very small Jewish population. Since the Castro revolution, the number of people who attend churches has diminished since many churches are closely monitored by the state and church members face harassment. However, a 1998 visit from the Pope seemed to cause an increase in participation in the Catholic Church.
According to a 2002 report, Christian churches, particularly the Catholic Church, have been viewed suspiciously by members of the Communist Party who have claimed that the organizations are undermining public policies and laws. Separate religious schools are forbidden, though churches can provide religious instruction to their members.