Nicaraguan police prohibit religious procession in capital

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MEXICO CITY – Nicaraguan police have banned a religious procession scheduled for Saturday in the capital, the latest sign of tensions between the government and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Archdiocese of Managua urged the faithful to come directly and peacefully to church on Saturday “to pray for the church and Nicaragua.”

“The National Police has advised us that for internal security reasons, the procession is scheduled for 7 a.m. this August 13, an activity planned on the occasion of the Congress of Our Lady and the conclusion of the procession. concluding the pilgrimage to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the national territory. , not authorized,” the archdiocese said in a statement.

On August 1, the government announced that Matagalpa Bishop Rolando Álvarez was under investigation for allegedly inciting hatred and inciting violence. It said he would not be allowed to leave the church grounds including his whereabouts while the investigation continued. The police surrounded the house.

Álvarez was an outspoken critic of President Daniel Ortega’s government.

Earlier, the government closed seven radio stations owned by the Catholic Church in Matagalpa province.

Police have not allowed mass gatherings in public places, except for those sponsored by the government or the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front party, since September 2018. Earlier, on In April, massive street protests became calls for Ortega’s resignation.

Ortega asserted that this was a coup attempt carried out with foreign backing and the support of the church. Since then, his government has resisted dissenting voices, including political opposition leaders and more than 1,000 NGOs.

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