World Watch Ranking: 50

What does persecution look like in Nicaragua?

Churches in Nicaragua that speak out against injustice and human rights violations by the government are viewed as destabilising agents. This makes them a target for hostility, which can include intimidation, harassment, monitoring, arrests and even attacks. Roman Catholic churches are particularly susceptible to opposition.

The government is particularly hostile to churches that provided shelter and care for people during the widespread protests which broke out against the country's dictatorial regime in 2018. To this day, these churches are still experiencing retribution from the government, including slander and surveillance.

Meanwhile, recent elections and changes to the law have been used as a pretext to label church leaders as terrorists and coup-plotters. This has led to increasing restrictions on churches and other Christian organizations.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

Given the government's widespread totalitarian control, persecution affects Christians throughout Nicaragua.

Meet "David"

"God had them released as a miracle."

David's parents were imprisoned for getting involved in protests against the government

What has changed this year?

The hostility facing Christians in Nicaragua has worsened, pushing the country into the top 50 of the World Watch List. Since protests broke out against his dictatorial rule in 2018, President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have forcefully sought to silence dissenting voices, especially the church given its influence in the country. Christian schools and TV stations have been closed, as have faith-based charities, while believers have been arbitrarily detained and prosecuted. The aim is to silence the Christian voice and make them lose credibility among the population.

What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Nicaragua?

Open Doors strengthens the persecuted church in Nicaragua by providing Christian literature, discipleship training, emergency relief aid, and education for pastors who have not completed their studies.

How can you pray for Nicaragua?

  • Please pray that those affected by government hostility will be healed of their ordeals and strengthened to follow Jesus
  • Pray that government opposition will not deter Christians from boldly sharing their faith
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of those in government, prompting them to see Christians in a positive light
a PRAYer for Nicaragua

Lord Jesus, we praise You for the courage of Your children in Nicaragua, who have raised their voices against injustice and human rights violations. May they know that their work is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). We pray that Your people will not be discouraged or deterred following crackdowns by the government, but will be empowered afresh by Your Holy Spirit to press on with all that You are calling them to. Heal those who are hurt, strengthen the weary and protect all Christians from harm. And we pray that Your Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of those in government – may compassion rise up within them and open their eyes to see the good that Christians bring to the country. Amen.

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Persecution Level

Very High

Persecution Type
  • Dictatorial paranoia
  • Communist and post-Communist oppression
  • Organized corruption and crime

Population of Christians
6,437,000 (95%)

Main Religion

Presidential republic

President Jose Daniel Ortega Saavedra