The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Artemisa, located 70 kilometers (approx 44 miles) west of Havana, Cuba, recently hosted leaders from various Christian denominations in the area. Their gathering was dedicated to launching a Bible distribution program organized by the Bible Society of Cuba, with the aim of distributing packages of Bibles to families through the Bible Baskets Project.
For many years, the Bible Commission (Comisión Bíblica) in Cuba held the exclusive legal authority to import and distribute Bibles within the country. However, in September 2023, the Bible Society of Cuba was formally established, obtaining the sole license for importing and distributing Bibles to the 80 Christian denominations on the island.
Over the past decade, the number of Christians in Cuba has doubled, now representing 60 percent of the population, which totals 11 million people.
In September, representatives from the Norwegian Bible Society visited Cuba to witness the official establishment of the Bible Society of Cuba. During their visit, they had the opportunity to visit several churches, where there is a substantial demand for Bibles—a demand that is challenging to fully meet.
“There are still members of our church who come to us and ask for a Bible. But we have to tell them that we don’t have any Bibles to give them,” local Adventist pastors commented.
They are aware that the Bibles that have already been distributed are being put to good use by members. Every day, lives are drawn closer to the Lord because of the simple act of placing a Bible in their hands. As a result, the Bibles received from the society will not collect dust in their office; they will be swiftly distributed.
Revival is spreading throughout the churches in Artemisa, mirroring the growth experienced by churches across Cuba. Adventist Church pastors report that, “People are searching for truth, for what is really true. God bless you for the ministry you are doing, that ‘the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’ [Isaiah 11:9, NABRE]. When we invest time with the Bible, we invest time with the Lord.”
Alain Montano, general secretary of the Bible Society of Cuba, is well-regarded in all the churches in Cuba, with a particularly strong connection to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He fondly recalls his grandmother, who was an Adventist and would always have a Bible story ready for him. She used to say, “Come into the kitchen and sit on my lap, and I’ll tell you a story.”
In September, Christians in Cuba celebrate Bible Month. On September 28, 1569, the first complete Bible in Spanish was published in Basel, Switzerland. The Reina-Valera Bible is celebrated throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
“For many years, the church in Cuba has been crying out to God for Bibles. God has never forgotten this prayer,” Alain Montero reflects, his eyes filled with tears. “The Lord answers in His time and sends people our way, and He does it today through Bible friends in Norway.”
Montero added, “A decade ago, I visited the Adventist church in Santiago, eastern Cuba. At that time, the pastor looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘I could have given out 1,500 Bibles in a day to Christians who want a Bible but don’t have one,’” affirming that this pastor still maintains the same desire. “He still says he could have given out 1,500 Bibles in a day.”
Following the inspiring meeting in the church, members immediately began distributing these valuable books. Throughout the evening, Montero received numerous messages and images on his phone, depicting happy families who had just received their Bible baskets.