Holy Week Processions Are Banned in Nicaragua

Around 4,800 Holy Week processions were banned around the country by the Nicaraguan government in 2024

Newsroom (28/03/2024 12:00, Gaudium Press) Nicaraguan Catholics are facing a wave of government-imposed restrictions on Holy Week processions in the country for the second year running. Under the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, thousands of processions have been banned, (ca. 4,800 processions), including the Way of the Cross on Fridays during Lent, according to information from lawyer Martha Patricia Molina, who documents Ortega’s aggressions and persecutions against the Catholic Church.

Dr. Martha Patricia Molina is a critic of the dictatorial government of Ortega and Murillo and has been documenting the acts of persecution and hostility towards the Catholic Church since 2018 in a report entitled “A Persecuted Church”. Among the processions banned in 2024 are the traditional Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Lenten Friday processions, such as Managua’s traditional penitential Via Crucis, which is usually attended by hundreds of faithful.

Many churches and communities are opting for smaller processions within the walls of the church. Other churches or chapels replace processions with the recitation of the rosary or the vigil of some pious image of Holy Week. However, even these activities are not immune to government interference. According to the report, some processions that were initially allowed were suspended at the last minute by the police, under threat of imprisonment for the participants.

Since 2018, the Ortega regime has been accused of human rights violations and religious persecution. The government has already arrested and expelled religious, seized the property of the Church and religious orders, and ordered the closure of several Catholic educational institutions. (FM)

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Compiled by Dominic Joseph

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