Roman Catholics in Nicaragua had to hold traditional “Stations of the Cross” and other Holy Week processions on church grounds or inside churches Friday amid a ban on public demonstrations.
Roman Catholics in Nicaragua have had to hold traditional “Stations of the Cross” and other Holy Week processions on church grounds or inside churches amid a ban on public demonstrations.
Relations between autocratic President Daniel Ortega and the church have frayed to near non-existence since Nicaragua's government proposed severing relations and sentenced a bishop to 26 years in prison.
Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes told The Associated Press that celebrations were held throughout the country “near the churches.”
“In absolutely every parish there were celebrations,” Brenes said, though he added they went off “not with all the intensity” of years past.
Earlier this week, the government expelled a Panamanian parish priest, Donaciano Alarcón, who police accused of holding an Easter-week procession and attempting to “stir up the people”.
Alarcón said police forced him into a patrol vehicle Monday after he celebrated Mass in the rural town of Cusmapa and drove him to the border with Honduras.
Alarcón denied there was any procession. “I did not lead a procession, because they are prohibited,” he said. “I was the first to tell people that there would be no procession.”
Since anti-government street protests broke out in 2018, Ortega has banned all opposition demonstrations in Nicaragua and has also restricted Catholic activities. He says Catholic figures sympathetic to the opposition are “terrorists.”
For more Easter celebrations watch Euronews' report in the video above.