bishop faces the police with the Blessed Sacrament in hand

In recent days, hostile actions against Church members in Nicaragua have intensified, including the closing of Catholic radio stations.

One image made a big impact in Nicaragua, where Catholics are suffering harsh persecution from the regime of Daniel Ortega. The Bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, left in procession with the Blessed Sacrament in hand after the police prevented him from entering the curia to celebrate Mass as usual.

“I went out and there was already a group of believers who were worshiping the Lord. [Os policiais] was going through their things, they asked for their identity card, but they wouldn’t let them in [na cúria]; and when I left there was already a group of faithful singing to the Lord, so I ordered the Blessed Sacrament to be brought so that we could pray here, to bless the faithful”, highlighted the bishop.

Monsignor Álvarez, who has long been protesting the Ortega dictatorship, stood up to the police and paramilitaries who surround and blockade the episcopal curia region, as reported by local media.

Diocese of Matagalpa

“Tell us if you are going to let the faithful into the curia, tell us if you are going to allow us to celebrate the Eucharist with the media, if we are going to be able to have free movement, if you are going to stop closing the streets of the curia, if you are going to remove the police forces that are up to two blocks around the curia”, expressed the bishop, as seen in a video broadcast by a journalist.

The bishop also blessed the police around him and, on his knees, prayed for them and asked them to leave the Catholics alone.

moments of tension

Daniel Ortega ordered the closure of six Catholic radio stations in Nicaragua. In one of them, a priest tried to prevent the police from removing the transmission equipment and was besieged in the parish house attached to the Menino Jesus de Praga chapel, in Sébaco, where the radio operated.

The parish belongs to the Diocese of Matagalpa, and Father Uriel Vallejos narrated, through social media, the moments of tension he went through while he was locked up after the police invaded the chapel. The details of this dramatic story can be read here.

Dictatorship in Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega

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