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Rhonda Miska Writes About Religious Persecution in Nicaragua

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

​Dominican University Minister Rhonda Miska served as a Jesuit Volunteer in Nicaragua in 2002 - 2004, under the staff supervision of Rachel Hart Winter, director of Dominican University's Siena Center. She always planned to return to the country of which she had grown so fond--but those plans have been crushed because of reports of increasing intimidation of church leaders. Miska writes in the Global Sisters Report, a project of the National Catholic Reporter, about the current persecution of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua.

Miska writes that the current situation in Nicaragua is evoking the terror experienced by Nicaraguans during the 44-year reign of the Somoza regime and the Sandinista revolution that overthrew it in 1979. Unfortunately, the U.S. backed contra wars perpetuated this history of violence throughout the 1980s. Protests against the current administration under Daniel Ortega are rocking the country and the resistence is being violently repressed.

According to Miska, on July 14, Managua's Church of the Divine Mercy experienced a 15-hour attack by paramilitary gunfire when pastor Father Raul Zamora offered refuge to 200 protesting students. She writes that Catholic bishops and priests are being targeted and physically attacked along with the protestors, and convents and religious houses are under surveillance.

"In the midst of uncertainty, they are trying to carry on ministry as much as possible and grounding themselves in prayer," Miska writes.

You can read Miska's entire article, "Fear, Faith Within Nicaraguan Church," in the August 22 issue of the Global Sisters Report.

Rhonda Miska is a Sinsinawa Dominican novice training to become a Sister and is doing her year of formation by working in Dominican's University Ministry and will be teaching two classes this spring.