Conservative Christianity becomes a political force in referendum on state’s new constitution

A thousand parishioners gathered in the Methodist church in the Vedado district of Cuba’s capital on a recent Sunday morning. After the revival music and conga drums had faded, the dancers had come off stage and the faithful had lowered outstretched arms, Pastor Lester Fernández rounded off his sermon on the ruinous consequences that the legalisation of gay marriage would bring.

“The Cuban church, as an essential part of society, is worried, and therefore has a right to a public voice,” he hollered into his microphone. “Amen,” replied the flock.

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