Nicaragua: Regime’s Crackdown on Catholic Church Spreads Fear Among the Faithful, There and in Exile

Source: US News & World Report

“Nineteen priests kicked out of the country, dozens of incidents of harassment and church desecrations, rural areas lacking worship and social services: the situation for Catholic clergy and faithful in Nicaragua is only worsening in 2024, according to exiled priests, laypeople in the Central American country and human rights advocates. The fear of the ongoing crackdown by President Daniel Ortega – on the Catholic Church in particular but not sparing evangelicals – has become so pervasive that it is silencing criticism of the authoritarian government and even mentions of the repression from the pulpit. … Like several Latin American governments tracing their roots back to socialist revolutions, Nicaragua’s has had an uneven relationship with faith leaders for decades. But those protests triggered an escalating and systematic targeting of the church in what the U.S. government’s Commission on International Religious Freedom calls a ‘campaign of harassment and severe persecution.'” (02/11/24)