Date:                        August 11, 2022


Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following new report:

Nicaragua Country Update – This report details deteriorating religious freedom conditions in Nicaragua during the first half of 2022. In March, the government expelled the papal nuncio, the Vatican’s chief diplomat in the country, for unexplained reasons. Most recently, a judge sentenced a priest to over four years in prison on spurious charges and the authorities arrested another on suspicious reasoning. Additionally, the government has heightened its repression of Catholic-affiliated organizations by shutting down charities and expelling their workers, stripping universities of funding and legal status, shutting down news media and radio stations, and eliminating non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The report also highlights recent U.S. policy efforts to advance democracy and human rights in the country.

In its 2022 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the U.S. Department of State maintain Nicaragua on its Special Watch List for engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom. USCIRF also highlighted religious freedom conditions in Nicaragua during a February 2022 episode of the USCIRF Spotlight Podcast.


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a commissioner, please contact USCIRF at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..