Citing safety concerns in light of the ongoing political tensions in their country, Nicaragua’s Catholic bishops announced the country will not host “Days in the Diocese” events in the weeks before World Youth Day 2019, reported Vatican News.
WYD 2019 will be in Panama in January and is expected to draw more than 3 million pilgrims. To make it a more “Central American” event, for the first time activities will be held in multiple countries in the region in the two weeks before the main event.
The Panama Organising Committee is urging pilgrims to live the experience of the “Days in the Dioceses” in Costa Rica and Panama. They state that these two countries are preparing to welcome and share these two weeks with young pilgrims and that this event is one of the riches that mark, in a special way, the lives of young people.
Pope Francis has made strong appeals for an end to the violence in Nicaragua. According to UN figures, 280 died and 1,830 suffered injuries when government forces cracked down on anti-government protests over the last three months.