Denver, Colo., Apr 21, 2023 / 14:15 pm
Ongoing religious persecution of Nicaraguan Catholics, including major incidents during Holy Week, show the need for the U.S. government and the international community to act, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Thursday.
“As we continue to celebrate the joy of Christ’s resurrection during this Easter season, I reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with the bishops, priests, faithful, and all men and women of goodwill in Nicaragua, who are suffering an intensification of the Nicaraguan government’s religious persecution,” Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, said April 20.
“In addition to a ban on traditional Holy Week outdoor celebrations and processions, the faithful have endured consistent police harassment in churches throughout Nicaragua, confiscation of property, as well as the expulsion from the country of two women religious and a priest,” Malloy said.
Tensions between the Daniel Ortega government and the bishops have worsened since the citizen protests of April 2018 in which the bishops tried to serve as mediators. The dictatorship strongly repressed the protests.