For immediate release: April 7, 2022
Religious Leaders and People of Faith Call on the Government of Nicaragua
to Stop the Suffering of its People and Release Political Prisoners
More than 400 religious leaders and people of faith from across the United States have signed an open letter to the Nicaraguan government. The signers are Catholics, Episcopalians, Jews, Protestants of many different denominations, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and people of other faith traditions.
The signers of the letter say that during this month of April, during which people of different faiths celebrate Lent, Holy Week, Passover and Ramadan, they feel called upon to raise their collective voices against the suffering of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans.
They make reference to the specific suffering over the last four years, remembering those who were killed during the uprising that started in April 2018, expressing grief for both the protestors and the police. The signers also express their concern for the thousands of people injured during the protests, the over 150,000 Nicaraguans who have fled the country due to the repression and violence, and the now more than 180 political prisoners held captive with no due process.
The letter poses the question to the government: “How is it possible to speak of peace and reconciliation with so many families subject to the crushing effects of imprisonment, exile, and grief? How can a nation prosper under the weight of so much suffering?”
The signers “urge the government of Nicaragua to heed the cry of its people by liberating the now more than 180 prisoners who have expressed their dissent. This would be an important step towards restoring some semblance of tranquility among the Nicaraguan family.”
Among the signers is Sister Helen Prejean, a Catholic nun whose work on behalf of prisoners was made famous in the Oscar-winning film “Dead Man Walking”, and Robert Ellsberg, the editor-in-chief of Orbis Books, which publishes works on liberation theology.
Reverend Paul Shoaf Kozak is another signer of the letter and an Episcopal pastor at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Boston who lived in Central America and now works with the unhoused population and Nicaraguan migrants. As he wrote in an article to be published in Confidencial: “We have heard the outcries of injustices and stories of pain and suffering noting how the Nicaraguan government has unleashed violence and aggression against its own people by imprisoning, silencing, threatening and punishing anyone who is not in agreement with their policies.”
The signers hope the letter will show the Nicaraguan people that there are people of faith and good will who stand in solidarity with them in their desire for peace and justice. They hope the Government will finally heed the call to act justly and compassionately by releasing the political prisoners during these holy days.
To read the full letter click here: Multi-faith Letter to Nicaraguan Government with Signatures – 7april22
Lea en Español la nota de prensa y la el contenido de la Carta abierta