More Cubans Turning to the Sacraments

HAVANA, JUNE 14, 2001 ( Catholic Cubans are receiving the sacraments in growing numbers, with big increases in Church marriages and first Communions.

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That is according to statistics of the Havana Archdiocese, published in the capital´s Catholic magazine, Palabra Nueva.

The statistics focus on two years, 1990 and 2000. The total number of baptisms in 1990 was 27,609, compared with 33,735 in 2000, an increase of 22.1%.

The anointing of the sick was administered to 4,054 people in 1990, increasing to 5,769 last year, a growth of 42.3%.

Even «more significant was the increase in the sacraments of confirmation, marriage and Communion, in that order,» explained Orlando Márquez, spokesman for the bishops´ conference, in the article.

Confirmations increased by 79.6%, as in 1999, 368 Havana residents were confirmed, while in 2000, 661 residents of the capital received the sacrament.

There were 184 marriages celebrated in the Church in 1990. In 2000, the figure reached 427, a 132% increase. First Communions tripled, from 746 in 1990, to 2,244 last year.

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