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Nicaraguan police repress Holy Week procession


Alcaldía de Nindirí Página Oficial

Foto de archivo

Daniel Esparza - published on 04/04/23

The Ortega police raided a local Holy Week traditional procession. Participants had to take refuge in neighboring houses and parishes.

A barking dog seldom bites, the saying goes. Ortega has repeatedly proven the saying wrong. His steady, ongoing silencing of dissenting voices in Nicaragua has directly targeted the Catholic Church systematically for at least five years now. Among his most recent dictates is the explicit prohibition of traditional public processions of the Way of the Cross in all parishes in the country during this season. Some dared to defy this prohibition on Monday, and were subsequently persecuted and repressed by the police.  

This latest move joins more than 190 attacks and desecrations:

including a fire in the Managua Cathedral, the expulsion of the Missionaries of Charity, the imprisonment of Bishop Rolando Álvarezthe exile and stripping of the citizenship of more than 222 former political prisoners, priests, bishops, and seminarians included,

On Holy Monday, the streets of Nindirí, in the Nicaraguan department of Masaya, are the site of the traditional procession of Los Cirineos (“the Cyrenes”). People of all ages dress in tunics and carry crosses, inspired by Simon of Cyrene, the man who, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, helped Jesus carry the cross.

As reported by local media, Ortega’s police repressed the procession and chased those participating in it through the streets of Nandirí.

Those who were fleeing from police threats took refuge in neighbors’ houses as well as in the Santa Ana parish, the church from where the procession usually starts in that area of Masaya, as noted by Pablo Cesio in his article for the Spanish edition of Aleteia.

“The police arrived in Nindirí to prohibit the departure of the traditional Cirineos. Young people who were about to carry out the tradition were chased throughout the city. Whether they were detained or not remains unknown. Neighbors helped many of them to hide and flee from the Police,” local media said, based on information shared by the Unidad Nacional Azul y Blanco (UNAB), a non-governmental organization that fights for freedom in Nicaragua.

Various of those who witnessed the scenes in Nindirí shared their reports through social media.

NicaraguaPersecution of Christians
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