Comments by Cuban leader Fidel Castro on religion:

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Christians ``have gone from a stage in which they were persecuted to others in which they were the persecutors.'' _ speaking with Chilean Christians, 1971.

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``There is a great concurrence between Christianity's objectives and the ones we communists seek, between the Christian teachings of humility, austerity, selflessness and loving thy neighbor and what we might call the content of a revolutionary's life and behavior.'' _ speaking with Chilean Christians, 1971.

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``I believe that the teachings of Christ are very revolutionary and completely coincide with the aims of socialists, of Marxist-Leninists.'' _ conversation with Nicaraguan Christians, 1980.

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``Even in the church's own clashes, there was a lot of violence. There was violence against the church and the church also applied violence to a considerable extent. This is why it's not strange for violence to surface in clashes between the revolutionary political movement and the church.'' _ ``Fidel and Religion, Conversations with Frei Betto,'' 1985.

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``No churches in Cuba were ever closed down _ none of them. There was a time when the political confrontation became really fierce and, because of the militant political attitudes taken by some priests, especially the Spanish ones, we requested that they be withdrawn from our country. ... However, we authorized other priests to come to Cuba and replace the ones who were asked to leave.'' _''Fidel and Religion, Conversations with Frei Betto,'' 1985.