Their Word against Mine: Proselytizing in Cuba

By Jorge Milanes

Photo: lahabana.com

HAVANA TIMES – “Good morning my brother, we here are here to bring you God’s word. Do you have time for us?” A man says to me, accompanied by another, who approach me outside my home when I’m on my way to work. They were holding some leaflets in their hands.

“I’m sorry, but I’m in a bit of a hurry, my time is gold as the famous song goes, Time is money…”

“Anyhow, you can enter the Lord’s kingdom,” they continued. “Let us show you what the Lord says in this leaflet about what you just said.”

“I don’t think I have the time you guys need but I can tell you that I am already in the Lord’s kingdom, I believe in being a good person to everyone and to not impose myself,” I explained.

“It also talks about that. Can we have a chat?” they insist, and I found myself forced to take a few steps in order to show them my haste, but they followed behind me, while I tell them about my religious beliefs, that I have an African-Spanish family tradition, members of the diaspora community who found themselves forced to adopt some things from Cuba’s Catholic Church back then, in order to survive. “Can I carry on my way please?” We’ll have a better opportunity to talk about all of this another day.

I thought that they had understood, but they hadn’t.

“My brother, we would still like you to read these verses and when we meet again, you can tell us what you think. God bless you.” “Uffff, they finally left. Now, I’m in even more of a hurry than I was before.”

Persistence is acceptable when you are trying to achieve something in life, but it doesn’t apply in these cases. I was very kind this time, but I have beared witness to heated scenes with people who have different ideologies and end up saying things like: I don’t care about your religion, I’m a santero, don’t even think about coming back, etc…

Some religious groups in my neighborhood regularly take part in invasive procedures but they don’t always bring in good results. I believe they would have greater success if they were to have a bit more prudence and perspective.

Jorge Milanes

Jorge Milanes: My name is Jorge Milanes Despaigne, and I’m a tourism promoter and public relations specialist. Forty-five years ago I was born in Cojimar, a small coastal town to the east of Havana. I very much enjoy trips and adventure; and now that I know a good bit about my own country, I’d like to learn more about other nations. I enjoy reading, singing, dancing, haute cuisine and talking with interesting people who offer wisdom and happiness.


23 thoughts on “Their Word against Mine: Proselytizing in Cuba

  • August 31, 2019 at 2:32 pm
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    To those who have written here supporting their views with quotes from the Bible as if it is the word of God, – who wrote it and when?
    I understand the enthusiasm of believers, but for Cuba and other Latin-American countries, the history of the Catholic Church is one of torture, slaughter, repression, genocide and theft.
    Believers in the various religions have usually become so as a consequence of parental and community instruction as infants and children.

  • August 31, 2019 at 12:58 pm
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    Manny Rosales, you are so right! And Jorge is one of the many Cubans that because they grew up in the Castro Cuba have no concept of what Jesus Christ our savior is. He needs to read and educate himself. The religious Cuba is so complex! I was born in Cuba during Fidel’s time and I was and still are A Catholic, but I can understand his confusion.

  • August 31, 2019 at 12:19 pm
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    Religion, what is Religion? who coined the word Religion? All I do know for certain that Religion has caused countless deaths over the years, people have died for their religion, fought countless crusades in the name of religion, divided whole communities as in Ireland and countless other countries. When quite a few people are in dire staits regarding their health(Heart attacks for example) they turn to religion and ask God to help them recover, even though before their present health concerns, they never had time for any God and now they are calling on him/her to help them?
    So we have different types of believers and non believers, we have the type who wish to ram their religious views/beliefs down your throat, whilst we have others who will ask you if you wish to discuss certain aspects of religion, these wish to impose their one sided view upon you regardless if you wish to talk with them or not, they are only interested in their own views. If I am approached by anyone and I do not wish to enter into a conversation I just offer my apologies and say as politely as I can that I am sorry but i am in a hurry and do not wish to be late for my appointment. Is it not obvious to these people that I do not wish to enter into a conversation with them> I have shown you respect so please show me some respect in return!

  • August 31, 2019 at 10:51 am
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    Hi,Jorge ,I’m Jorge too from Cuba,l live in USA more than 20 years and the only that i want tell you is,God is good,human being without HIM,in some point of view is loss,no matter how smart you are,God love HE’S creation,but all together in LOVE.God is impartial about humanity, everyone have the right, to know HIM.

  • August 31, 2019 at 7:53 am
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    Over 15 years I have visited small and large cuban towns and cities by bus and by bike. Spanish is my first language and i never stay in resorts or hotels because i prefer to remain close to the cuban people. I entered churches and listened to people like Jorge and they all sound to me hipocrital, false. After 60 years of dictatorial regime the suffering and misery has broken the social and human structure os society. Corruption ,betrayal and lying is part of life and things are never what they appear to be. To me Jorge is selling more ideology like the castros did and he even could be promoting cuba as a religious destination to bring religious tourist and mantain the misery even longer. Cuba is a prison and a spyder web and it is full of “Proselytizers”

  • August 31, 2019 at 4:54 am
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    God is in a hurry to save you too,but we are so busy with our lives,not knowing that the only meaningful thing in the few days we live in the land is to please the Lord, the rest is chasing after the wind.Ecclesiastes 1:14.

  • August 30, 2019 at 8:07 pm
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    Jorge, first and foremost I would like to thank you for sharing your story. Although I do not agree about your title “Proselytizing”, because in your story nobody tried to pursue/convince you to become part of any group.
    Also, they never mentioned the word “religion”, however some people when they hear the word “God” they automatically assume that we are talking about religion. In fact, you may be a religious person although you may not think so… I’ll probe it to you that you are a religious person… you religiously work, you religiously publish some articles in this website, etc. LOL.
    They offered you something even better than religion and totally FREE: The Lord’s kingdom. Which you rejected based on your own definition of “good” …You said: “… I believe in being a good person to everyone and to not impose myself”.
    There is an interesting story in the Bible in the book of Luke chapter 18 (verses 18-30) about a person that was thinking, exactly like you, that he was a good person, until… he came to Jesus (the son of God), and for this man’s surprise Jesus told him “…give everything to the poor and follow me..”. Then he found out that he was not as good as he thought. I encourage you to read that story.
    And for those that mentioned on their comments that they need scientific evidence that God is real, I encourage all of you to watch this movie “The Case for Christ” based on a real story, with interviews to scientists written by the journalist Lee Strobel. Also, there is another book that can help you, “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell.
    PEACE, AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!
    He is still calling people out as Jorge’s story tells us. Are you next?

  • August 30, 2019 at 7:37 pm
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    It’s pleasant to read that people are more free thinking than I guessed.?

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