After Haiti, Nicaragua is the poorest country in Latin America. Since 2018, the Nicaraguan people have been thrown back into turmoil after the regime mandated President Ortega’s pension cuts. In the protests that followed, more than 400 Nicaraguans died as a result of military violence. For months, the Church tried to mediate in the violent conflict and offered refuge to the persecuted and injured in community centres. ACN does not intervene in political affairs, but supports pastoral activities such as those in Nicaragua, which often provide people with concrete help.
“Being young and Catholic is dangerous in Nicaragua,” was uttered last year during the persecution of opposition members and regime critics in many of the country’s parishes. But the Church is concerned with showing its presence and supporting the people, even in times of crisis. Or as Pope John Paul II once said: “The charity of works ensures an unmistakable efficacy to the charity of words.”
We continue to support the commitment of the Church in Nicaragua. For example, in infrastructure development to ensure the formation of young candidates for the priesthood, after the Managua seminary was closed for security reasons during the crisis. With our financial aid, it was also possible to build community centres for new parishes in the countryside. These are not only spiritual and social meeting places for the parishes, but also accommodate catechist training for young laypersons.
» Being young and Catholic is dangerous in Nicaragua’s current crisis. «
To help the Church with its mission and pastoral care, ACN is also helping to fund vehicles and boats, which are essential in many parishes due to the extreme geographical and climatic conditions in the “land of a thousand volcanoes”.