Semester Project – Kourney Davis

This semester in Cuba, one of my main goals is to become familiar with the scene of the Christian faith here. With Catholicism being the largest declared faith among the natives and over fifty different denominations of the protestant faith, my aim is to investigate the role of faith in a socialist nation. Traditionally, the instatement of a command control government does not allow the freedom of religion, but this has changed in Havana and its outlying provinces in the past twenty to thirty years. I would like to interview some of the elders in the churches to see what caused this change and how it has affected attendance, ideas, and the lives of everyday Cuban citizens. I also plan to speak with pastors and priests and question the doctrine of the church to see the differences between here and the United States, as well as to ask about censorship and freedom of speech from the pulpit. Lastly, I plan to explore some of the various aspects of a local religion called “Santeria.” I would like to understand the blend of two very different religions, Catholicism and African native religions, into one of the largest and most accepted faiths in Cuba. I believe that this trip will become a great opportunity for me to see how the church operates and how the people maintain faith in a socialist country.