Nicaragua’s crackdown on Catholic Church spreads fear among the faithful, there and in exile

February 11, 2024

The fear of the ongoing crackdown by President Daniel Ortega – on the Catholic Church in particular but not sparing evangelicals – has become so pervasive that it is silencing criticism of the authoritarian government and even mentions of the repression from the pulpit. Her work recording hundreds of instances of church persecution recently won her an International Religious Freedom Award from the U.S. State Department. Despite the growing fear, many faithful continue to attend church services – where they remain available. Many of the senior leaders of the Catholic Church, including Bishop Rolando Álvarez who was jailed for more than a year, were released from prison and sent overseas in negotiations with the Vatican last month. “The dictatorship, what it wants is to completely eliminate the Catholic faith, because they haven’t succeeded in making the church kneel before them,” Molina said.