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Exhibit Exposes Cuba's Communist Generation to Bible

09-08-2014
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For decades, Christians in Cuba have faced arrest and imprisonment under the communist, atheist government. In recent years, the situation has improved and believers can now worship freely in their churches.

That new reality was evident during a 21-day event in which thousands of Cubans came to view Bible manuscripts and artifacts displayed in Havana's main cathedral.

Most of the items in the Green Collection came from the private collection of Oklahoma philanthropist Steve Green.

"There are some really exciting artifacts here that tell not only the history of how we got the Bible, but the impact that Spain and Latin America had on the history of the Bible," Norman Conrad, co-curator of the Christian Heritage Museum, told CBN News.

From Dead Sea scrolls to Jewish Torah scrolls that survived the Spanish Inquisition and much more, the exhibit led visitors through the history and message of the Bible.

Cuban-American educator Carlos Campo joined guests at the exhibition.

"So you came into the space at the cathedral, watched a video about what the Bible was, what it meant to the Christian life," Campo explained.

"And then you moved through the entire event that included a replica of the Gutenberg press," he continued.

"So folks could come in and actually pick a verse from the Bible and have it pressed out on this parchment and take it with them as a 'regalo' -- as a gift," he said. 

More than 6,000 Cubans visited the exposition in the first week alone, curious about a book that had long been suppressed.

"They had not really a lot of experience obviously with the Bible for 21 years; you know, Bibles weren't allowed on the island at all pretty much," Campo continued. "There's been some loosening of that now, of course, but so many folks were interested to see what this was all about."

Cuban Christians saw this as an opportunity to promote God's Word to a generation that grew up under Communism when the Church was suppressed.

One man said, "It was a way to evangelize this country, and I think it's very interesting and important."

Another said, "I've always read about those themes in the Bible and to see them personally is a privilege. I think it's a spectacular experience."

"I believe this is a great opportunity to announce the Good News of Christ through this exposition and through his word," a lady commented.

The exhibition brought together evangelical and Catholic leaders and had the support of the United Bible Society. The Green Collection will eventually be housed in Washington, D.C., in a privately funded museum of the Bible, projected to open in 2017.

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