Ortega increases attacks against the Catholic Church

Ortega aumenta ataques contra la Iglesia católica

The United States Ambassador for Religious Freedom denounced Thursday that the Nicaraguan government has 11 religious in prison and has forced several more into exile as part of a campaign of attacks and persecution of the Catholic Church in that country.

Rashad Hussain offered a press conference in New York together with Nicaraguan human rights defenders Juan Carlos Arce and Leyla Prado in the framework of the 77th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). “The increase in attacks” by the Daniel Ortega government on the Catholic Church and its faithful is particularly alarming, said diplomat and adviser to President Joe Biden on religious affairs.

He added that in recent months the Nicaraguan government closed 10 Catholic radio stations and expelled 18 nuns from the order of Mother Teresa of Calcutta who had been working in the country for many years.

He indicated that Ortega also forced several priests into exile and that he sent another six to prison, most without charge, as well as two seminarians, a deacon and a layman, all of them collaborators of Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who has been under house arrest since 42 days ago.

Hussain accompanied Arce from the Nicaraguan Never Again Human Rights Collective at the conference, who said that his country is experiencing “a dramatic situation” because the Sandinista government is determined to eliminate any sign of dissidence.

Arce recalled that in March Ortega expelled the apostolic nuncio Waldemar Sommertag from the country, who in 2019 had interceded for an amnesty for imprisoned opponents. He noted that of the more than 1,800 non-governmental organizations closed by the government this year, 29 were religious in nature, including Catholic schools and universities.



The government of Daniel Ortega withdrew the signal from the CNN en Español news channel in the country, without indicating the reasons for the decision, the media reported yesterday. “The Nicaraguan government removed our television signal, denying Nicaraguans news and information from our network.


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