RFI Executive President Eric Patterson was interviewed this week on The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio to discuss the persecution of Christians in Nicaragua, including the recent targeting of Catholic bishops.
Patterson explained how difficult it is to be a priest or pastor in countries in Latin America today with atheistic regimes, such as Cuba and Nicaragua, where Christianity is seen as a threat to their rule. Faith leaders in these countries often face criminal charges, loss of property, and even violent attacks:
Those regimes see religious leaders who call them out for corruption…[and] for the way they beat up on human rights and religious advocates…as a direct threat to their authoritarian rule, and so it’s very dangerous.
Patterson also discussed the recent detainment of Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez, and how it is part of a broader pattern of brutally targeting Catholic bishops in the region
When asked about the impact of Álvarez’s arrest and what he thinks will happen going forward, Patterson said, “I do think that we will continue to see strong-arm tactics of intimidation, even if he is let go or if he’s sent into exile. We’re going to see other priests and other Christians beaten and robbed. We’re going to see churches burned.”
And, according to Patterson, the danger will only increase for the faithful: “We are seeing a rise of violence against the Church throughout the region. [Christians] are being targeted by these leftist political leaders because they represent something other than their own power.”
Listen to the full interview on The Drew Mariani Show here (beginning at about 17:30.)