The Church has very quietly been growing in Communist Cuba. There are now two branches in the capital, Havana. Elder Bednar dedicated the country for preaching the Gospel in February 2012, and Elder Holland visited again this summer. The Church News quoted Elder Holland as saying: “Although we are small in number, each member is precious to us, and Cuba is precious to us.”
Elder Holland visited the site of Elder Bednar’s dedication, which overlooks Havana, and said, “the promises of the dedicatory blessing are unfolding.”
President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he would seek the normalization of relations with Cuba seems to be coming right on schedule. It is easy to imagine that increased travel and trade with the United States would very soon lead to missionaries and strong growth of the Church in the coming years.
This story from the Deseret News has some interesting tidbits.
Though it is not registered, the Cuban department of religious affairs welcomed the church in 2004, when the first branch was established, and it and other faiths have helped the church find locations for worship.
Elder Holland also met with government officials in June.
That doesn’t mean missionary work is likely to happen quickly, Martinich added. In recent decades, the church generally has moved meticulously before opening a mission in a country where it hasn’t had one before.
“I wouldn’t imagine a mission there for a few years,” Martinich said. “What’s more likely to happen is that, when and if Cuba gives the church official recognition, missionaries would be reassigned from another mission,” such as one in the Dominican Republic.
One first already happened three years ago: A Cuban native from the Havana Branch served an LDS mission in the United States beginning in 2011.