The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) reports that the group entered the temple, damaged religious images and stole items belonging to the church.
HAVANA TIMES – The Tipitapa church known as the Our Lord of Espuipulas Chapel was profaned on January 1st, after the Justice and Peace Commission of the Managua Archdiocese warned that the country “is clamoring for a change in direction”, referring to the grave local sociopolitical crisis.
According to a report from the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), unidentified persons “entered into the temple, broke religious images and stole belongings”.
The aggression happened on Wednesday, New Year’s Day, one day after the religious commission, presided over by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, noted that Nicaragua yearns for “a return to the Constitution and the rule of law. This change, they noted, demands the holding of … free and fair elections,” as a solution to the crisis.
The religious community of Tipitapa confirmed that the unknown persons stole items belonging to the Catholic Church, decapitated a statue of the Virgin Mary and smashed the crown of the Black Christ figure, also leaving it without a wig.
Further aggression in Jinotega
The Catholic community in Tipitapa issued a denunciation before the ANPDH that, judging by the type of aggression, the attackers were most likely a mob of Sandinista fanatics.
These mobs are violent groups who are followers of President Daniel Ortega. Ortega has disparaged the bishops on repeated occasions, accusing them of directing a supposed coup attempt against his government.
Last Tuesday, the Catholic faithful from the department of Jinotega in the north of Nicaragua denounced the fact that Father Eliar Pineda had been targeted by government loyalists in that city. Reportedly, an alleged “Sandinista mobk” marked the priest’s vehicle with paint, a gesture that often represents a threat.
Unmoved by the Bishops’ early warnings
The Nicaraguan episcopate warned the president in 2014 of the dangers of an impending crisis such as the one that Nicaragua is now going through. At that time, the bishops received no response from the ruler. Now, in the context of the current crisis, hundreds of people have died in protests against Ortega.
This crisis has brought the Catholic Church into direct confrontation with Ortega, and has also left an unspecified quantity of missing, hundreds in prison, thousands of wounded and tens of thousands in exile.
The religious leaders have demanded of Ortega that he abstain from attacking or jailing those who oppose his FSLN Party, while the president insists that these religious leaders are “coup supporters”.