The San Juan Star (Puerto Rico)

July 26, 1984, pg. 13


Church Council disclaims Sandinistas anti-religious

WASHINGTON (UPI) - The National Council of Churches Wednesday rejected charges that Nicaragua's Sandinista government is repressing religious freedom and reaffirmed its commitment to religious groups working with the revolutionary government.

In a lengthy statement, the council. said it "affirms its confidence" in the religious groups' work as "genuine expressions of the Christian community in Nicaragua to meet the desperate needs of the people of that nation and to join in the struggle for justice for the poor."

The 31-member council, along with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the World Council of Churches, has been the target of a campaign by the conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy aimed at ending U.S. church support for pro-Sandinista organizations in Nicaragua.