Nicaragua: Persecution of the Catholic Church Intensifies

The Ortega dictatorship has forbidden the Parish of Santo Domingo de Guzmán de las Sierras to hold the traditional procession with the replica of the image of Santo Domingo de Guzmán known as “El Mocito”.

Newsroom (14/02/2023 20:33, Gaudium Press) The Ortega regime has already banned six processions in the first two weeks of 2023. Indeed, since 2022, Daniel Ortega’s regime has openly declared a wave of repression against the Catholic Church. In October of that year, the dictator accused it of not practicing democracy, of being a “dictatorship” and a “perfect tyranny” and of having used “its bishops in Nicaragua to carry out a coup d’état” against his government in the 2018 demonstrations.

He also convicted and sentenced seven religious for crimes of conspiracy and fake news. Two priests were sentenced in 2022, while the bishop of Matagalpa, Bishop Rolando Álvarez, was convicted to 26 years in prison.

The persecution has also driven more than a dozen priests into exile.

Ortega’s police forbid procession

In a communiqué, the Parish of Santo Domingo de Guzmán of Managua and the Parish Committee informed that the procession with the image of Saint Dominic has been canceled: “By orientation of the National Police the procession planned to begin on February 6 will not be able to be carried out traditionally.

The procession of “El Mocito” was to take place in eight communities belonging to the parish of the patron saint, and 184 families would receive a replica of the image. The first visit was held on Sunday afternoon in the La Hoyada community, where the parishioners prayed the rosary and participated in a Eucharist and fellowship. However, on Monday they could no longer continue with the pilgrimage.

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The Police have determined that until the end of July – when Managua’s patron saint festivities begin – they will give a permit to carry out a special program.

Meanwhile, parishioners were invited to pray the Holy Rosary as a family asking Christ that “through the intercession of the Virgin Mary and Santo Domingo de Guzmán, give us the blessings we need for the good of our church and families.

Let us make an altar in every home (…) a domestic church where the name of the Lord is glorified fraternally and our Patron Saint Santo Domingo de Guzmán is honored with devotion and fervor.

However, the faithful were outraged by the interference of the National Police. Why should the Police have to guide and decide when and how religious activities should be held? That was and should remain a competence of the Church through its parishes,” said one parishioner.

Compiled by Dominic Joseph

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