Bishop Álvarez in Nicaragua Denounces Police Harassment of Religious and Takes up a Fast Calling all the Faithful to Pray
The Bishop has taken shelter in a Las Colinas church and calls on parishioners from Matagalpa and Estelí to join the fast.
The bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, denounced on the night of Thursday, May 19, that the Police under the control of the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo persecuted him throughout the day, including invading the house of his relatives. A day later, this Friday, the Santo Cristo de Las Colinas parish, where he is a refugee, remains under police siege.
“Today (Thursday) I have been persecuted throughout the day by the Sandinista Police, from morning until late at night. At all times, during all my movements of the day”, he began by recounting in a video posted on the Facebook page of the Diocese of Matagalpa.
The religious narrated that "at the end of the afternoon" when he was at a niece's house, he questioned the police officers why they were persecuting him and they replied that "they obey orders."
However, he regretted that "far from happening, what I really believed, that with a basic will or minimal common sense on the part of the superior authorities of the Police and the Government, was going to happen, what really happened was the opposite: they entered into my family privacy circle.”
“They came to my private, family, paternal, maternal home, putting the safety of my family at risk. So, I returned to the parish of Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, here in Las Colinas, where I want to thank Monsignor Carlos Avilés, who has given me lodging, and has welcomed me as a guest in this parish,” Álvarez said.
The bishop stated that since last night he began "an indefinite water and whey fast until the National Police, through the president or vice president of the Episcopal Conference, only let me know that they are going to respect my family privacy circle."
"They let me know at one of the traffic lights on the highway to Masaya, where I stopped to ask them again what was going on (with the persecution) and they told me that it was for my safety, but we already know precisely that the insecurity in this country, it is by the Police. That is to say: those who make us feel insecure with this persecution, are you, police brothers,” said the Catholic leader.
Álvarez invited the Catholic people of Matagalpa and Estelí "and all those who want to join me in this indefinite fast, to do so", starting today, going to the parishes of the two Dioceses "that at this moment I am pastoring, that where the parish priests allow it, to adore the Blessed Sacrament, to pray, to sing, to praise the Lord, and to fast for as long as you consider convenient”.
“Also to make vigils, united to this server. I will be in prayer. I'll be doing exorcism from here, I'll be praying. I will be before the Blessed Sacrament, celebrating the Eucharist. I will be raising my pleas to the Lord, so that this situation of harsh and cruel harassment for all of us can cease, ”he concluded by saying in the video.
The auxiliary bishop of Managua, Monsignor Silvio José Báez , expressed his solidarity and his "fraternal closeness" with Álvarez "who is being harassed by the Police."
#Nicaragua. Le ofrezco mi solidaridad y mi cercanía fraterna a mi hermano, Mons. Rolando Álvarez, Obispo de Matagalpa, quien está siendo hostigado por la Policía. Me uno a su oración, pidiéndole al Señor que lo proteja con la fortaleza de su Espíritu.— Silvio José Báez (@silviojbaez) May 20, 2022
👉🏻 https://t.co/36xcNwdf9y pic.twitter.com/wCZLy4lFCp
"I join your prayer, asking the Lord to protect you with the strength of his Spirit," he posted on his Twitter account.
The harassment and police persecution by the regime against religious of the Catholic Church has intensified in the last week.