Nicaragua: Sandinista regime bans processions of the Catholic Church

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes admitted that he does not see an immediate solution to Ortega's persecution of the institution.

The siege by Daniel Ortega's regime against the Catholic Church became evident this weekend after the police banned "for internal security reasons" a procession in the capital and other temples in the country.

The Archdiocese of Managua announced that due to Ortega's measures a mass would be held, under police surveillance, where the faithful could attend to celebrate the end of the pilgrim image of the Virgin of Fatima. This new information confirms that the Sandinista police will no longer allow activities of the Catholic Church amid strong tensions between the government and the institution.

Attack on priests

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes said that they met over the weekend "with great joy, but also with great sadness" due to the crisis that the priests and the institution are experiencing with the government. He also affirmed that the Church hopes to find a solution to the situation regarding Bishop Rolando Alvarez, although he admitted that in the immediate future he does not see a way to mend the situation concerning the priest from the Diocese of Matagalpa, in the north of Nicaragua.

Alvarez is a strong critic of the Ortega regime and was taken prisoner in its curia on August 4. He remains there along with 10 other people surrounded by a large police tape. Sandinista forces justified the investigation of Alvarez for attempting to organize violent groups and inciting hatred with the purpose of destabilizing Nicaragua. The bishop was targeted by Ortega after denouncing the authorities' decision to close five Catholic radio stations and demanding that the government respect religious freedom.

The persecution against the Church comes in the midst of the strained relations that the Catholic Church has had with the Ortega government since the 2018 opposition protests, when several temples opened their doors to shelter injured protesters and those fleeing repression.