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Martin Luther King Jr. Center Celebrates 25 years Dedicated to Humanist Efforts

By Dalia Gonzalez Delgado

Granma International

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center (CMLK) in Havana celebrated its 25th anniversary, April 25, and was acknowledged in a letter from Esteban Lazo Hernández, Vice President of the Council of State and a member of the Party’s Political Bureau.

The Avenida Theater hosted the tribute to this multi-denominational Christian organization which links educational activities to social change, based on its vision of popular education and critical liberation theology.

“Over all the years, you have made the work of the Center visible in different places around the globe, in World Social Forums, Peoples’ Summits and supporting the Pastors for Peace caravans and the interactions they have with those they visit here,” Lazo said in a letter sent for the occasion.

Reverend Raúl Suárez, the soul, founder and director of the Center referred to “the strategic alliance between Christians and Marxists, which step by step, going through several stages, radically changed the relationship between the Church and the Revolution.”

During the event, the Center publicly presented its ecumenical network “Fe por Cuba”, (Faith for Cuba) which now joins the organization’s network of educators which has its first gathering in Havana in 2010.

A statement to the press indicated that Fe por Cuba advocates a church committed to social change which takes the risks of its own transformation and that of the world, reaffirming love, respect for diversity, justice and equality.

Fernando Martínez Heredia, National Social Studies Prize winner, recalled the crucial year in which the Center was founded, 1987. “The Center found a way to be Christian, to discern what was just and needed, to be people on the people’s side.”

Also in attendance at the celebration were Rafael Bernal, Minister of Culture; Ramón Pez Ferro, President of the People’s Power National Assembly’s International Relations Commission; Caridad Diego Bello, head of the Party’s Office of Religious Affairs; Kenia Serrano, President of the Cuban Frienship Institute (ICAP); Reverend Marcial Miguel Hernández, President of the Cuban Council of Churches (CIC); members of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Marianao, leader of diverse religious institutions and other figures in Cuban civil society.

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