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Pastor Roberto Carlos

Pastor released as church interpreter is murdered

A prominent pastor who was kidnapped by paramilitaries in the Nicaraguan city of Leon has been released.

Pastor Roberto Carlos Figueroa was kidnapped June 30 after he filed a defamation complaint with the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights claiming paramilitaries had threatened and intimidated him.

Pastor Figueroa warned that if he disappeared, pro-government paramilitaries controlled by the FSLN would be responsible. The FSLN is the ruling Sandinista Party. They accused him of leading a group aggression against a young militant of the Sandinista party.

Figueroa is minister of the King of Kings Church and president of the Pastoral Conference of Nicaragua.

After he disappeared, immediately the Nicaraguan Evangelical Alliance (AENIC) called all the churches of the country to demand his safe return.

“We repudiate this arbitrary act and demand his release,” said Mauricio Fonseca, president of AENIC. “They took him alive, alive we want him returned! ” he insisted.

“The Nicaraguan Evangelical Alliance and its family” are thankful for your prayers. We will always give the glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth ,” said the alliance.

Sunday, pro-government paramilitaries stormed through the city of Jinoptepe where they joined police in removing anti-government barricades. Fourteen people were killed when black-hooded, heavily armed men clashed with anti-government forces.

Christians also say pro-government paramilitaries killed a young Christian man in the town, a well-known translator named Luis. Witnesses said just before church services started at La Roca Church, armed men held a security guard hostage, vandalized the church building, and then murdered Luis in front of his children.

At least 300 people have been killed since anti-government demonstrations and violence erupted in April. Christians throughout Nicaragua are calling on people to pray for an end to the killings and a peaceful resolution to the political unrest.

As Pastor Roberto Carlos was released, the Christian community turned its focus on the many other families affected by the violence at the government;s hands.