Nicaraguan police ban Catholic procession in church crackdown

Aug 12 (Reuters) – Nicaraguan police banned a Catholic procession and pilgrimage in the capital Managua on Saturday, citing internal security concerns, the archdiocese said on Friday as the crackdown on the church intensifies.

In response, the Archdiocese called on the country’s faithful to spend Friday in prayer and fasting and attend Mass at Managua Cathedral on Saturday, skipping the procession meant to be a closing ceremony of the country’s Marian Congress and a shipment for the Portuguese statue. of Our Lady of Fatima.

Relations between the Catholic Church and the Nicaraguan government have been strained since the church tried to mediate in 2018 after an Ortega-backed social security proposal sparked nationwide protests.

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The Central American nation has accused several priests and bishops of conspiracy since the Church sought justice for more than 360 people who died in the protests, according to figures compiled by human rights organisations.

The move comes just over a week after the Ortega government pulled seven Catholic radio stations. Read more

The stations were headed by Bishop Rolando Alvarez, head of the Diocese of Matagalpa and Esteli, as well as a critic of Ortega.

Alvarez is being investigated for an alleged conspiracy and has been stuck in the Diocese’s Episcopal Palace, surrounded by police, for two weeks. Read more

Police did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Reporting by Ismael Lopez; Written by Kylie Madry; Editing by Josie Kao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Martha J. Finley