Nicaragua’s President, Daniel Ortega, has been persecuting the Catholic Church.
Outspoken critic of the government and bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Álvarez Lagos, was placed on house arrest after being prevented from celebrating Mass by police. On August 4th, authorities prevented the 55-year-old, who has repeatedly drawn attention to human rights abuses in Nicaragua, from leaving his home, and on the 19th, he was officially placed on house arrest. He is being accused of conspiring against the government.
Recently, President Ortega also blocked a procession in honor of the Lady of Fatima, citing security concerns, and has barred hundreds of NGOs contrary to his regime, including those of a religious character, from operating in the country.
Hostility towards the Church has been a constant during the tenure of the Nicaraguan head of state. In 2018, protests against government corruption left 60 people dead and led to a series of threats against bishops and priests who had defended the protestors.
In addition, according to one report, 190 church profanations have taken place in 2019 and 2020, presumably with government involvement.
Some critics of the government are now also complaining that Pope Francis, who has called for dialogue, has not firmly condemned the actions of Nicaraguan authorities, and that high-profile global human rights organizations have likewise remained aloof from the situation.