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Sun Feb 11, 2024, 01:38 PM Feb 11

Nicaragua's crackdown on Catholic Church spreads fear among the faithful, there and in exile

Source: Associated Press

Nicaragua’s crackdown on Catholic Church spreads fear among the faithful, there and in exile

Updated 8:03 AM EST, February 11, 2024

MIAMI (AP) — 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.

“All the time the silence gets deeper,” said Martha Patricia Molina, a Nicaraguan lawyer who fled to the United States. Her work recording hundreds of instances of church persecution recently won her an International Religious Freedom Award from the U.S. State Department.

“If it’s dangerous to pray the rosary in the street, it is exceedingly so to report attacks,” Molina said.


Read more: https://apnews.com/article/nicaragua-catholic-church-crackdown-exile-vatican-us-ortega-ddcbe3f439ea0773dc9e1db88a7bb952

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