Evangelical Churches close rank in defense of Ortega

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By LatAm Reports Editor

At least four Nicaraguan evangelical associations have closed ranks in defense of the Ortega regime and thanked him for allegedly guaranteeing religious freedom and respect for the diversity of creeds in Nicaragua, despite the fact that the dictatorship keeps 11 leaders of the evangelical church Puerta de la Montaña in prison.

The evangelical associations Pentecost Evangelical Conference of the Assemblies of God of Nicaragua (Cepenad), the Baptist Convention of Nicaragua, the Church of God Nicaragua Association and the Federation of Evangelical Churches are the religious institutions that issued the communiqués through their social networks.

The messages of the evangelical associations come after information circulated about alleged prohibitions by the Orteguista Police for the realization of evangelical cults.

Do we want to express publicly that there is full freedom of worship in Nicaragua. Each citizen is free in the exercise of his faith, without discrimination. The temples are held celebrations of worship, preaching the Gospel and activities of a religious nature, notes part of a communiqué of the Evangelical Pentecost Conference of the Assemblies of God of Nicaragua (Cepenad), signed on April 17 by the Reverend Roberto Rojas Moya, secretary of the instance and aligned with the dictatorship.

In addition, he thanked the dictatorship for ensuring religious freedom and respect for the diversity of creeds present in our country.

“We urge the entire population to continue to promote peaceful coexistence and mutual respect among all religious communities, promoting unity in diversity and cultivating fraternity between brothers of different beliefs,” the statement adds.

On the other hand, the Federation of Nicaraguan Evangelical Churches (Fienic), which claims to have 3,360 evangelical churches throughout the country, reiterated that there is full religious freedom in Nicaragua.

Our nation recognizes and respects the fundamental right of each individual to profess his or her faith and to practice his or her religious beliefs without fear or impediment, they point out in a statement issued on April 16.

Evangelical Church Says They With Police Support

On the other hand, Bishop Teodoro Guido, president of the Church of God Association in Nicaragua, through a statement, assured on April 17 that his pastors and his more than 100 congregations have had no impediment to developing work of evangelization, disheminating and social projects with children from our communities.

The statement is a reaction to recent media posts that showed, with videos, that children were banned from raising the flag of Israel and even an eviction from an Israeli flag in a religious activity in Chichigalpa, Chinandega.

We have also had the support of the National Police in the free mobilization of our churches to our national convention and the police guard during it, Guido adds in the statement.

Direct thanks to Ortega and Murillo

For its part, the Baptist Convention of Nicaragua thanked directly dictator Daniel Ortega and the regime’s spokeswoman, Rosario Murillo, for supporting their evangelistic work.

As an institution we must share that the government of reconciliation and national unity, presided over by Commander José Daniel Ortega Saavedra and comrade Rosario Murillo, have always supported our evangelistic work and have favored the realization of all our activities,” they say in the statement.

Pastors are unaware of religious freedom

While evangelical leaders say that there is freedom of worship in Nicaragua, the Central American country lived in 2024 its second Holy Week with prohibitions for activities of popular piety.

According to lawyer and researcher Martha Patricia Molina Montenegro, during Palm Sunday there was a strong presence of civilians and police officers monitoring religious activities.

Molina, who is the author of the Nicaraguan reports, a persecuted Church, told LA PRENSA on that occasion that she estimates that the regime sent at least two police officers for each parish and its subsidiaries to monitor parishioners.

He sent two police officers to some parishes, while others sent up to three vans. Officers from the Directorate of Special Operations (Doep) also arrived. In Nicaragua there are 400 parishes, some of which have more than two chapels and were also guarded. That’s why I estimate that there are 4,000 troops that the regime sent to watch, said Molina, who also said that police officers, some dressed in civilian clothes, took photographs of the parishioners.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa NI