.- The bishops of Cuba have requested one million statues of the child Jesus for a mission this year that will give new meaning to the phrase, âKeeping Christ in Christmas.â Nativity scenes have not been seen on the island for years because of Castroâs prohibition against them. But seven years after the Communist dictator lifted the ban on Christmas celebrationsâas a result of the visit by Pope John Paul II to Cubaâthe growing number of practicing Catholics in Cuba are preparing for a triumphant return of the Baby Jesus.
This month, the Bishops Conference of Cuba declared a âYear of the Missionâ, which will culminate in Advent with the distribution of statues of the Baby Jesus in homes all over the island.
The plan was revealed in a report sent to Aid to the Church in Need. The director for Latin America of Aid to the Church in Need, Xavier Legorreta, said he was sure the idea would be widely supported. âIt is one of the simplest plans, and I am certain that it will bring meaning back to one of the most important Christian celebrations that has long been ignored and rejected in Cuba.â
âFor years the Nativity scene has been absent from Christmas celebrations in Cuba. All we had were Christmas trees,â he said.