Religious Freedom Week: Saturday, June26: Catholics in Nicaragua

USCCB Observes Religious Freedom Week June 22nd Through June 29th

Religious Freedom Week 2021: Solidarity in Freedom

June 22nd through June 29th, 2021

Saturday, June 26: Catholics in Nicaragua


“Solidarity means much more than engaging in sporadic acts of generosity. It means thinking and acting in terms of community” (Fratelli tutti, 116).


Religious freedom allows the Church, and all religious communities, to live out their faith in public and to serve the good of all. Beginning June 22, the feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, the USCCB invites Catholics to pray, reflect, and act to promote religious freedom."


Catholics in Nicaragua  

Religious Freedom Week 2021: June 26





Pray for our Catholic sisters and brothers who are suffering in Nicaragua.



When peaceful protests began in April 2018 in response to a decision to raise taxes and decrease pension benefits, the government’s brutal response left at least 19 dead and over 100 missing. Demonstrations continue until today. Protests have been met with government-sanctioned violence to repress dissent and increasingly the government is targeting the Catholic Church. Catholics make up 46 percent of the population, but the Church has played a key role in providing sanctuary, aid, and support to protesters. Initially, given its prestige and well-regarded presence, the Church was asked to mediate a National Dialogue between the protesters and the government. During talks, when the Church insisted that it could not turn away demonstrators in need of aid, President Ortega’s administration began attacking the Church and the mediation failed. The government began harassing clergy, arbitrarily arresting some, defaming the Church as “coup mongers” and “terrorists.” In one case, paramilitaries laid siege for 15 hours to a church where priests, students, and media had taken refuge. Bishop Silvio Jose Baez of Managua and other clergy were assaulted while trying to shield protesters. With death threats mounting against him for speaking out in support of human rights, Bishop Baez was recalled to Rome for his safety. Since then, Ortega supporters continued to desecrate Catholic churches, and threaten religious and the faithful. In 2019, the government shut off electricity and water to a church where hunger strikers protesting the detention of family members had sought sanctuary. With mobs surrounding churches and security forces filming, parishioners are now afraid to go to Mass. The government also withheld the delivery of sacramental wine and other goods donated to the Church.



In addition to the political turmoil, Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America that is often beset with natural disasters. Catholic Relief Services began working in Nicaragua in 1964. Support CRS’s agricultural, emergency relief, health, and youth job training programs to help save lives.


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St. Ann Roman Catholic Church

Fr. Noel P. Tria, Pastor

Rev. Mr. Robert L. Cox, III, Deacon

Rev. Mr. David A. Kahn, Sr., Deacon

113 South Kemp Street, Florence, SC 29506 843.661.5012

Barbara A. Lewis, Director of Business Administration

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