LIFESTYLE

Spirituality means many things in syncretic Cuba
Cuba's religious syncretism has been on display in the weeks leading up the Pope Francis' arrival on the island on Saturday with processions that brought out crowds to honor two locally popular Catholic saints on their feast days: the Virgin of Regla and the Virgin of Charity.
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This Sept. 10, 2015 photo shows religious icons, including an Afro-Cuban warrior spirit, left, the Virgin Mary, top center, and a Buddha on an altar at the home of Yoruba followers Dagoberto Molina and his wife Elvira Abad in Havana, Cuba. The blue fish at right is a receptacle to hold religious objects. Spirituality is expressed in many ways in Cuba, where different creeds and religious practices are widely accepted, even when they are mixed together. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Sept. 9, 2015 photo, Yoruba follower Francisco Lemus looks out to sea as Adela Zamora, popularly known as Santera Chuchita, holds a coconut over his head during a cleansing ceremony to help him improve his health in Bahia Honda, Cuba. After moving the coconut from head to toe, Zamora broke the seed open on the ground for insight on how Lemus should proceed to improve his health, based on how the coconut shell broke open. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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People look a statue of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, during the procession of Cuba's patron saint, the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, on her feast day in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. A focus of intense popular devotion for Cuban Catholics, the beloved Virgin of Charity was declared the patron saint of Cuba in 1916 by Pope Benedict XV. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Sept. 7, 2015 photo, workers hang a crucifix on the wall next to the Catholic church of the Virgin of Regla, before a procession on her feast day in Regla, a town across the bay from Havana, Cuba. Along with Catholics, there are followers of Afro-Cuban faiths, Jews, Muslims, Protestants and Buddhists in the country that for decades had been an atheist state. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Sept. 8, 2015 photo, people watch a procession on the feat day of Cuba's patron saint, the Virgin of Charity, in Havana, Cuba. In Cuba, the Catholic Virgin of Charity is associated with the Yoruba orisha "Ochun." (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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This Sept. 7, 2015 photo shows key chains for sale, featuring religious icons alongside symbols of national pride, like revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara, during a religious celebration marking the feast day of the Virgin of La Regla, in Regla, a town just across the bay from Havana, Cuba. Along with Catholics and believers in Afro-Cuban faiths, there are Jews, Muslims, Protestants and Buddhists on the island hat for decades had been an atheist state. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Sept. 6, 2015 photo, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, Cuba's apostolic nuncio, looks out at his parishioners after celebrating Mass at St. Francis of Assisi church in Havana, Cuba. Spirituality is expressed in many ways in Cuba, where different creeds and religious practices are widely accepted, even when they are mixed together. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Sept. 6, 2015 photo, a decal promoting Pope Francis' upcoming visit covers the back of a tricycle taxi, alongside an ad for a photographer specializing in "quinceaneras," a teenage girl's 15th birthday, in Havana, Cuba. The pope arrives to the island on Saturday, Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Sept. 6, 2015 photo, a Cuban souvenir Kippah is displayed for sale at the Adath Israel synagogue in Old Havana, Cuba. The ruling Communist Party in 1991 began allowing religious believers to become members, and in 1992 the Constitution was amended to remove the reference to atheism. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Sept. 8, 2015 photo, a girl dressed as an angel attends Catholic feast day celebrations for Cuba's patron saint, the Virgin of Charity, in Havana, Cuba. In Cuba, the Virgin of Charity is associated with the Yoruba orisha "Ochun." (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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This Sept. 7, 2015 photo shows Miguel Suarez, whose chest is covered by a tattoo of the Virgin of Regla next to Cuba's revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara, during a Catholic feast day procession for the Virgin of Regla, in Regla, a town just across the bay from Havana, Cuba. Cuba's religious syncretism has been on display in the weeks leading up the Pope Francis' arrival on the island on Saturday, Sept. 19 with processions that brought out crowds to honor two locally popular Catholic saints on their feast days: the Virgin of Regla and the Virgin of Charity. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this Sept. 10, 2015 photo, artisan Elvira Abad makes a doll for a follower of the Yoruba religion inside her home's workshop in Havana, Cuba. The doll will represent the sea goddess "Yemaya" as well as the Virgin of Regla, who share the same feast day in Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Spirituality means many things in syncretic Cuba

Cuba's religious syncretism has been on display in the weeks leading up the Pope Francis' arrival on the island on Saturday with processions that brought out crowds to honor two locally popular Catholic saints on their feast days: the Virgin of Regla and the Virgin of Charity.

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