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NICARAGUA: Government Bans Processions And Attacks Bishops

The Nicaraguan government of President Daniel Ortega has banned the celebration of traditional public processions and has accused Catholic Bishops of “grave crimes and horrors.” During Lent and Holy Week, the traditional processions were forbidden in all parishes. The rituals could not take place in public venues.

The move comes in the context of President Ortega’s escalating crackdown against the Nicaraguan Church, and follows the widespread outcry over the recent sentencing of Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa (in photo)  to 26 years’ imprisonment and the deportation to the United States of 222 political opponents.

Tensions between the regime and the Catholic Church reached its peak when, in a speech, President Ortega launched an unprecedented attack against the Church, accusing the Catholic hierarchy of “grave crimes and horrors” and of supporting dictator Somoza, who was ousted by the Sandinista Revolution in 1979.

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