Six decades have passed since Fidel Castro took over as dictator of Cuba, and the nation has never been the same. Yet despite the persecution Christians have faced as a result of the strict communist regime, God is moving in Cuba in a big way.
I recently spoke to Russell Black, a missionary to Cuba, on my “Strang Report” podcast. (Click here or on the podcast in this article to listen.) He told me that when Castro took power, he said he would clear the next generation’s memory of any thoughts of God. But even Castro couldn’t stop the Holy Spirit from saving souls and performing miracles
“The great revival of Cuba has been going on almost 30 years, especially among the youth,” Black says. “Today, the churches are just overflowing—standing room only, multiple services in many churches. And it’s miracles, healings, lives transformed—alcoholics, people with very rough backgrounds getting transformed.”
Black says prophet Rick Joyner actually predicted this revival would expand to global proportions.
“About 12 or 14 years ago, Rick Joyner had a dream,” Black says. “It was a dream he had about revival breaking out in Cuba that was going to touch the entire nation. And he went on to say that the entire nation would be so touched that it would become a Christian nation and that it would become a missions force to bring revival throughout the Western Hemisphere.”
Black sees that prophetic word coming to pass in this generation. He shares that vision of revival as often as he can through his ministry, Latin Impact, which has been making a difference in Cuba since 1993.
“The last time I was with Rick, a couple years ago, he said that God showed him that Cuba was actually going to be used by God to really spark a fresh revival in Russia as well,” Black says.
This is an incredible promise for a nation that suffered oppression for decades. Starting in the 1960s, the government fostered negative feelings toward the church throughout the nation. Thankfully, Cuba never got to the point where the government shut down all the churches, but the society did become anti-Christian, and many pastors left.
“There was, overall, a bad feeling towards Christians,” Black says. “So many people just walked away from the church, and for almost 30 years, the church was depressed. Attendance dropped to almost nothing. And then around 1989, God began to sovereignly visit the church, and there was a remnant that held on for many years.”
At that point, Black says, God began pouring out His Spirit in small pockets throughout the country. But when the Soviet Union fell and pulled out of Cuba, the Cuban economy tanked, and the government lost a lot of its control.
“At that same time, God began to visit the churches, and they started to get filled up again,” Black says. “After 30 years of very small gatherings, even in big churches, the churches began to have such a great outpouring that it was standing room only.”
Much of this outpouring has been in Protestant churches, even though when Castro took over, Black says, a vast majority of Cubans were practicing Catholics.
“When things began to open up again, the Catholic Church had diminished significantly,” he says. “And then, God began to pour His Spirit out on the Protestant churches, and I would say they are probably more practicing evangelical Protestant Christians in Cuba today than there are Catholic believers. And by and large, the vast majority of those believers are charismatic Pentecostals.”
Even just in Black’s evangelistic sports ministry, he has seen tremendous results. About 20 years ago, he and a friend—who at the time was a high-level baseball player—started reaching Cuba by playing baseball and preaching the gospel. Black calls it “sports evangelism,” and he says it has been quite effective.
“Long story short, 20 years later, probably in the neighborhood of 300,000 people have come to Christ,” he says. “And through this ministry in Cuba, over a million people have been evangelized and have heard the gospel. Much of it has been followed by signs and wonders, and now we’re working with 28 different denominations in Cuba and over 500 churches. Even in the month of April, we had an outreach of over 25,000 kids.”
The fruit has been so vast that Black’s team is opening up ministries in Peru, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. Black says Joyner’s prophetic word about Cuba reaching the nations inspires him in his ministry.
“So not only are we focusing on Cuba and reaching Cuba, but Cuba is actually focusing on reaching other parts of the world as well,” he says. “And that’s what God does. It’s just a powerful experience.”
Let’s keep Black and his ministry in prayer as they reach Cuba and surrounding nations with the gospel. And I encourage you to listen to my entire interview with Black to learn how else you can be praying for Cuba and the Christians there!