Nicaragua suffers from a lack of religious freedom

In 2022, Nicaragua was included in the List of Countries to Watch in 2022 due to a strong threat of persecution against Christians. Under President Daniel Ortega, the government has repeatedly carried out arrests and bans on Christian events. As a result of the 2018 protests against the social reforms of the Ortega government, several pastors came under heavy surveillance and received mobility restrictions inside and outside the country, according to sources in the country.

In this line, several Christian institutions were prohibited and forced to stop operating because of this law. It is estimated that so far this year, at least 1,400 non-profit organizations have been closed by the government. Some voices are alarming about a dictatorship by the Nicaraguan power.

Many Christians supported the 2018 demonstrations against the government’s actions. They also consoled those who lost relatives in the demonstrations and helped victims injured by the police. As a result, churches are paralyzed and Christian leaders are under heavy surveillance. There have been cases of invasion and violence in the houses of the shepherds. The families of the pastors have been greatly affected by false accusations that seek to limit the freedom of action of Christian leaders.

From 2021 to now, 22 Christian leaders have been arrested. All were performing services at the time of arrest and were not entitled to trial. A Christian leader has been kidnapped and has been missing since last week and 12 Christians were physically assaulted as a result of the persecution.

Regularizing the churches has been a real challenge in Nicaragua. New documents are required almost monthly and there are rumors of a new law that aims to bring every church in the country under the scrutiny of a new watchdog. In addition to strong pressure from any international church that wants to help or support the Christian communities in the country.

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