In Nicaragua, there is a proverb that goes, “Blessings come down when praises go up.” This has altered recently, though. According to reports, Daniel Ortega’s dictatorship’s National Police consistently suppresses religious events, especially those sponsored by the Catholic Church. The police men descend after praise is given.
The key factors influencing the flow of Nicaraguan migrants to the United States are religious freedom as well as economic and political conditions. More Nicaraguans cross the border this year than in 2020—more than 180,000—a 60-fold increase.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reports that the Nicaraguan church has been crucial since the 2018 civic protests, which resulted in 355 fatalities. Since then, Ortega has done all in his power to silence the church’s prophetic voice.
The Pope’s diplomatic efforts
Pope Francis has come under fire for his caution and forbearance in the face of the vicious attacks by the Nicaraguan government, which is said to have committed 396 violent actions against the Catholic Church in the previous four years. Pope Francis claimed in a recent interview with ABC Spain that the Catholic Church is being attacked by autocratic governments and is fighting back with diplomacy and dialogue.
“The Holy See never leaves. It is discarded. It always tries to keep diplomatic ties intact and preserve whatever that may be done so with time and communication, the pope said.
The Nicaraguan tyrant does not adhere to diplomatic protocol, although the Vatican does. Twelve churchgoers have been detained this year, temples have been vandalized, and 20 Catholic radio and television stations have been shut down. The Vatican has been dubbed “the perfect dictatorship” by Ortega.
A bishop of the Catholic faith was detained for the first time in Nicaraguan history. By raising concerns about abuses of authority and calling for the release of 235 political prisoners, Monsignor Rolando Lvarez reportedly let loose the wrath of the dictatorship. For more than four months, the bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa has been detained. After 120 days of quiet, the Nicaraguan Attorney General’s Office declared that Alvarez was accused of “conspiracy to harm the national integrity and distribution of fake news using information technologies.”