Cuban Christians Unite Against New Constitution

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Before the vote passed, evangelicals flexed unprecedented political might in a controversial campaign opposing a new definition of marriage and other national reforms.

As Cubans voted to approve a new constitution on Sunday, widespread Christian opposition may signal a shift in political tone and a new sense of unity among the island’s churches.

The grassroots campaign—formed largely against more permissive language regarding same-sex marriage—earned Christians a measure of political clout in the island nation, but for some it’s also garnered them a reputation as enemies of the state.

“I can’t vote for something that goes against my principles,” Alida Leon, a pastor and president of the Evangelical League of Cuba, told the Associated Press. “It’s sad but it’s a reality.”

“I am voting ‘no’ because taking out that marriage is between a man and a woman opens the door in the future to something that goes against our beliefs and the Bible,” another Baptist pastor in Havana told Christian Today.

In a demonstration earlier this month, at least 100 couples decked in suits and wedding dresses gathered in the capital to renew their vows and to protest redefining marriage in the constitution.

“We’re speaking out in favor of marriage as it was originally designed,” Methodist Church of Cuba bishop Ricardo Pereira said. “It’s the first time since the triumph of the revolution that evangelical churches have created a unified front. It’s historic.”

The government and its loyalists tried to turn the vote into a litmus test for patriotism, instigating a sprawling advertising campaign to promote the new constitution. But Christians’ counter-campaign proved too big to stifle.

The opposition first erupted last year when churches began to hang banners and print flyers espousing …

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