Catholic Bishops Condemn Persecution of Christians in Nicaragua

A Catholic faithful prays at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua on August 28, 2022. (Ph

ROME — Bishops from around the world have condemned the heightened persecution of Christians by Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega.

Following last Thursday’s deportation of 222 of Ortega’s political opponents and the sentencing of Matagalpa Bishop Rolando Álvarez to 26 years and 4 months in prison, many bishops have raised their voices in protest of Nicaragua’s escalating human rights violations.

On Saturday, the president of the Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM), Peruvian Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos, condemned the “unjust” imprisonment of Bishop Álvarez and other priests, promising prayers for their swift liberation.

“In faith we are comforted by the words of the Gospel: ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted because they live according to God’s plan, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,’” Archbishop Cabrejos wrote in a message of solidarity.

Nicaragua is living “moments of trial” and the undermining of the rights of our Nicaraguan brothers and sisters in the faith, the archbishop wrote.

A Catholic faithful prays in front of an image of Virgin Mary at the Metropolitan Cathedral in the capital Managua on August 28, 2022. (OSWALDO RIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Similarly, the Chilean Bishops Conference reacted strongly against the “unjust, arbitrary, and disproportionate” punishment of Bishop Álvarez, compounded by many other attacks on the Church, including the deportation of the Apostolic Nuncio and of the sisters of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, the expulsion and imprisonment of many priests, and the shuttering of Catholic radio stations.

“We deplore and reject the situation experienced by Bishop Álvarez and the Church in Nicaragua, which violates human rights, the essential dignity of the person and religious freedom,” the bishops said.

For their part, the Spanish Episcopal Conference said it was following with sorrow the worrisome situation in Nicaragua with “the exile of a large group of its citizens to the United States and the sentencing of the Bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Álvarez, to 26 years in prison and the stripping of his Nicaraguan citizenship.”

“We join the sentiments of the bishops of the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference who suffer persecution by the country’s government for defending the freedom of Nicaraguans,” the Spanish bishops said. “We ask all Catholics and all people of good will to pray for the peaceful resolution of this conflict and for an active commitment to peace that has its indisputable foundation in justice.”

They also summoned the civil authorities to listen to the voice of the people and to release those still imprisoned for political reasons.

Many other prelates have expressed their solidarity with Bishop Álvarez, denouncing the violation of the most basic civil rights and religious freedom in Nicaragua, notably the bishops of El Salvador, the bishops of Panama, and others.

Thomas D. Williams is Breitbart Rome Bureau Chief and the author of The Coming Christian Persecution.


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