The Catholic bishops of Nicaragua have declared a nationwide day of “fasting and prayer for the present and future of Nicaragua,” as the country prepares for elections.
The country is sharply divided heading into the November elections,
in which President Daniel Ortega will seek a third presidential term
despite a constitutional prohibition.
Disputes about efforts to
manipulate the vote, and calls for international observers, have
escalated the tensions.
On November 6, 3.4 million Nicaraguan citizens will be called to the
polls to elect the President of the Republic and 90 deputies of the
The situation in the Country is still tense due to
the third consecutive candidacy of President Daniel Ortega, not provided
for by the Constitution, and the ongoing discussion on the presence of
international observers to ensure free and transparent elections (see
The Bishops Silvio José Báez (Auxiliary of Managua),
Rolando Alvarez Lagos (Bishop of Matagalpa) and Juan Abelardo Mata
(Bishop of Estelí) have already expressed, on a personal basis, their
concern for the future of democracy in Nicaragua (see Fides 18/08/2016).
"We want to enlighten with our faith, as Pastors of the Church, this
historic moment. We invite all citizens to face this electoral process
decisively and to act according to one’s conscience, freely and without
fear of any external coercion", reads the Bishops’ statement published
on August 22 and relaunched these days.
"In times of crisis and tension
it is easy to succumb to the temptation of violence, but this never
resolves conflicts. We call on all Nicaraguans to act peacefully, with
respect for the legitimate choices of every person and to avoid anything
that threatens the physical and moral integrity of others. Peace is a
gift from God, but is also the fruit of justice and human commitment",
underline the Bishops.