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Monday, August 11, 2014

Cuba Approves First New Catholic Church In Decades

A sketch of the church plans is seen in this screenshot from Sarah Rainsford's BBC video report.

A sketch of the church plans is seen in this screenshot from Sarah Rainsford’s BBC video report.

For more than three decades, communist Cuba was officially an atheist state. Many priests fled the country after the 1959 revolution, and those Catholics who continued practicing were viewed with deep suspicion.

But in the latest sign of warming relations between church and state on the island, the government has given the green light to plans for the first new Catholic place of worship since the 1959 revolution. And as the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford reports from Santiago, it won’t be just any church.

Note: This BBC piece can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or the WBUR mobile app.


  • Sarah Rainsford, Havana correspondent for the BBC. She tweets @sarahrainsford.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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