Nicaragua’s Ortega regime blocks bishop from leaving diocesan offices to celebrate Mass

In addition, the local press reported that between Aug. 1 and Aug. 4 riot police prevented Father Uriel Vallejos and a group of faithful from leaving the rectory of Jesus of the Divine Mercy parish in the town of Sébaco.

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights had reported on Aug. 3 that the conditions in the residence worsened after the electricity was cut off and food ran out.

The confinement of the priest and parishioners began after the police forced their way into his parish to shut down the Catholic radio station that operated on the premises. Vallejos is the radio station’s director.

Five other Catholic radio stations were shut down Aug. 1 by order of the government for allegedly not having a valid operating license since 2003. However, the diocese reported that Alvarez said that in 2016 he personally presented the required documentation and never received a reply. 

In response to the recent episodes of violence by the government of Daniel Ortega and his vice president and wife, Rosario Murillo, the clergy of Matagalpa issued a statement Aug. 4 urging “the country’s authorities to respect freedom of speech and religion” and demanded that “the persecution of the Church cease.”

“In turn, we invite the People of God to continue getting down on their knees for the Church, for our priests, and for our beloved Nicaragua,” the message concluded.

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