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Bishop under house arrest over 'sins against spirituality'

by Marcus Jones
Monseñor_Rolando_Alvarez.jpg - Banner image
Ramírez 22 nic

A Catholic bishop in Nicaragua is being investigated over allegations of organising violent groups and inciting them to carry out acts of hate.

Rolando Alvarez from the Diocese of Matagalpa was stopped from leaving his home this week after police cordoned off an area outside the building.

The bishop attempted to attend the nearby Cathedral on Friday but was instead forced to celebrate mass at home.

Authorities there have begun a campaign against a number of church leaders who are seen to be politically opposed to those in government.

Another local priest Father Uriel Vallejos was blockaded in a parish house while a nearby church was stormed by police who seized radio and TV equipment.

The incidents come as first lady and Vice President Rosario Murillo suggested a number of individuals were guilty of "sins against spirituality" and "the exhibition of hate".

Religious freedom charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide is raising its concern for the country.

CSW's Head of Advocacy Anna Lee Stangl said: "We condemn the unjustified attacks by the Nicaraguan government on these two religious leaders and call for the immediate withdrawal of all security forces from religious buildings in Matagalpa Department. 

"We call on the international community to make it clear to the Nicaraguan government that these attacks, serious violations of freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression, are unacceptable.

"The courage of Monsignor Alvarez and Father Vallejos, and the example set by the bishop in particular, in attempting to engage in peaceful dialogue with members of the security forces are admirable and CSW stands with them and all those in Nicaragua who continue to stand for democracy and respect for fundamental human rights."

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