The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is deeply concerned about the growing repression and state-sanctioned violence in Nicaragua. Citizens’ voices have been silenced and their peaceful protests violently suppressed. We have seen citizens abducted, tortured, and killed. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, reported that over a two-month period from mid-April to mid-June at least 178 people were killed, the vast majority at the hands of police forces and armed pro-government groups, and at least an additional 1,500 were wounded. We expect that those numbers have climbed significantly in the past weeks.
LCWR stands firmly in solidarity with the people of Nicaragua, including our brother and sister religious, who are demanding justice and peace. We join with the Nicaraguan Catholic Church in denouncing the violence and with the first Latin American pope, Pope Francis, in calling for a return to dialogue that rejects violence and repression, respects freedom, and reverences the lives of all. Finally, we pledge our prayer and promise that we will do all in our power to call attention to the injustice and violence being perpetrated against the people of Nicaragua.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1300 members, who represent more than 38,800 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.