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The Judea is one of the religious activities of Holy Week that have been prohibited by the Ortega dictatorship. LA PRENSA/Archive

The dictatorship´s campaign of aggression against the Catholic Church hasn´t stopped

The reality experienced by the Nicaraguan Catholic population, according to researcher Martha Patricia Molina, highlights that "the stage of broken glass committed by the dictatorship against the Catholic Church has not ceased."

The dictatorship of Daniel Ortega’s relentless cruelty against the Nicaraguan Catholic Church continues to intensify in 2024, even after the regimen expelled two bishops and more than two dozen priests from the country. Religious activities planned for Holy Week this year have been prohibited. According to lawyer Martha Patricia Molina, 4,800 Lent and Holy Week processions won´t take place by orders of the Ortega regime.

According to Molina, who closely monitors the attacks against the Nicaraguan Catholic Church, “this figure includes Lenten stations of the cross, the Palm Sunday procession, and the processions during Holy Week itself,” which this year will be from March 24th to March 30th.

This year, as the Ortega dictatorship has expelled more Catholic priests, few parishes have announced that they will hold processions around the temples. However, “the vast majority will carry out processions indoors, including the cathedrals of the different dioceses,” Molina explained. The parishes used to have the processions on the streets, without any problems.

Regime will host religious activities without authorization from the Church

Molina also denounced through Facebook that municipal governments “are organizing Holy Week religious activities without authorization and participation from the Catholic Church.” This highlights a contradiction in the repressive policy that the Ortega and Murillo regime has been applying to the country’s religious traditions.

Molina specified that the Archdiocese of Managua will not hold the Penitential Way of the Cross, which traditionally was one of the religious activities with the highest participation of Catholic faithful.

According to Molina, the landscape has changed significantly in 2024, and she detailed that she has observed new particularities. Many parishes and chapels have opted for alternative religious activities since they cannot hold processions outside the temples. Praying the Rosary or keeping vigil with the image of Jesus of Nazareth in the churches are some of the options during Holy Week.

According to Molina, this situation “indicates that the apparent truce announced by the regime on March 7th “was a charade and the campaign against the Catholic Church has not ceased.” The lawyer urged Rosario Murillo to “change her mind in the coming days and reverse the prohibitions on religious activities that are still in effect today”.

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