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Nicaraguan Catholics gather for mass after gov’t bans procession | Religion News | NEWSRUX

The Vatican has expressed concern over strikes in opposition to the church amid the continued crackdown by President Daniel Ortega.

Nicaraguan Catholics have gathered for a large-scale mass within the capital, Managua, underneath heavy police presence after a spiritual procession was prohibited by the federal government.

The mass on Saturday adopted a number of strikes in opposition to the church in latest weeks, together with the investigation and confinement of a distinguished priest who had been crucial of President Daniel Ortega‘s authorities. A day earlier than the gathering, the Vatican for the primary time expressed concern over the latest actions within the Latin American nation.

Church leaders urged followers to attend the mass after they stated the Nationwide Police had banned a deliberate procession via the town citing “inner safety”.

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes stated the attendees congregated “with a variety of happiness, but additionally with a variety of disappointment” because of “the scenario we now have lived in our parishes”.

“Forgive them Lord, as a result of they know not what they do,” Brenes stated.

In early August, Ortega’s authorities closed seven radio stations owned by the church and introduced an investigation into Bishop Rolando Alvarez, who has been confined to the church’s compound in Matagalpa together with a number of different monks by police for practically two weeks.

Catholics arrive for service in Managua after Nationwide Police denied permission for a deliberate spiritual procession, citing ‘inner safety’ [AP Photo]

The federal government has accused Alvarez, a vocal critic, of selling hate and inciting violence. Previous to confining Alvarez, police had confined a priest in Sebaco, additionally a part of the Matagalpa diocese, for a number of days earlier than ultimately permitting him to go away.

On Friday, the Vatican’s everlasting observer to the Group of American States (OAS), Monsignor Juan Antonio Cruz, expressed concern throughout a particular session of the physique’s everlasting council and known as for “discovering paths of understanding primarily based on reciprocal respect and belief, wanting above all for the widespread good and peace”.

Through the OAS assembly, 27 nations authorized a decision condemning “the pressured closure of nongovernmental organisations and the harassment and arbitrary restrictions positioned on spiritual organisations” in Nicaragua.

Rights observers say Ortega continues to crack down on freedom of expression and speech following huge anti-government protests that broke out in April 2018. No less than 328 individuals had been killed by safety forces and a whole bunch had been detained, with some allegedly tortured.

Cops and riot police block the principle entrance to a Catholic church compound in Matagalpa the place Bishop Rolando Alvarez has been confined by police [AFP]

Ortega has maintained the motion was a coup try carried out with overseas backing and assist from the Catholic church.

Police haven’t allowed giant public gatherings within the nation, besides these sponsored by the federal government or the ruling Sandinista Nationwide Liberation Entrance social gathering, since September 2018.

Forward of the October 2021 presidential election, Ortega’s authorities arrested dozens of opposition figures, together with these more likely to problem him within the race. Ortega, a former Sandinista insurgent chief, went on to win a fourth time period within the polls, which overseas observers dismissed as invalid.

On Friday, Nicaragua shuttered Radio Dario, one of many final radio stations crucial of Ortega, its director Anibal Toruno stated on his Twitter account.

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