Pray for this bishop!

The Nicaraguan government placed Matagalpa Bishop Rolando José Álvarez on house arrest this week after they accused him of “organizing violent groups.” They allege he attempted to “destabilize the government” of Nicaragua.

The bishop openly criticizes Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime’s human rights violations.

The Nicaraguan police force issued an Aug. 5 press release alleging Bishop Álvarez used the media and social networks” in an attempt to “organize violent groups, inciting them to carry out acts of hatred against the population, causing an atmosphere of anxiety and disorder, altering the peace and harmony in the community.”

The government said he will remain on house arrest while the investigation proceeds. Six priests and six laypeople are also detained. Authorities also ordered the closing of eight diocesan Catholic radio stations.

The Latin American and Caribbean Episcopal Council (CELAM), the European Union, and the U.S. State Department all deemed these actions persecution.

Bishop Rolando José Álvarez confronts police with the Eucharist

In an Aug. 4 video posted on the Diocese of Matagalpa‘s Facebook page, Bishop Alvarez walks through the streets of Nicaragua with the Eucharist exposed.

The video generated more than three million views, at least 10,000 comments, and almost 100,000 reactions.

Here’s the video below:

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

The bishop said in his homily that he does not understand the purpose of the investigation, but that they must “be making their own conjectures.”

He encouraged listeners to remain courageous and fearless.

“Here we are gathered together and being held. We maintain our inner strength, peace in our hearts, and the joy that the Risen One gives us, the joy of the one who tells us ‘courage, it is I, do not be afraid,'” he said.

He also entrusted the detained individuals to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“We entrust to the Most Holy Virgin the six priests and the six lay faithful who with us are being held in our Matagalpa chancery,” he said. “We want with our poor and limited strength to carry this cross, to renounce ourselves.”

Pray for the Church in Nicaragua! 

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[See also: Did a 19th C. Nun Prophesy Today’s Persecuted Church? The Little-Known Revelations of Ven. Mary Potter]

[See also: Persecuted Underground Christians Cry After Receiving Bibles for the First Time]

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