The people's voice of reason

Katie Britt calls on Biden Administration to do more to pressure Nicaragua to release imprisoned missionaries

U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Alabama) this week delivered a speech on the Senate floor calling on the Biden Administration to use every single one of its sanctions enforcement authorities and diplomatic levers to free the Christians affiliated with Mountain Gateway. The Christians are being wrongfully imprisoned in Nicaragua for their religious beliefs.

"As Americans, we believe that every person on this planet is '[endowed] by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,'" Sen. Britt said. "Religious freedom is at the top of that list, and for me, I believe it must be protected at every turn. That's why I continue to be deeply concerned with what's happening in Nicaragua. Since 2018, the Nicaraguan regime has persecuted Christians, including the Catholic Church and various Christian missions and charities."

"This lawless behavior has only escalated recently," Britt continued. "In December, Nicaraguan police arrested approximately a dozen individuals, mostly pastors, associated with Mountain Gateway. These Christian faith leaders have been unjustly imprisoned since then, and were handed down a sham sentence in March. The regime has imposed a fine totaling nearly $1 billion, about 6% of [Nicaragua's] entire GDP, along with 12-15 years of imprisonment. Let's be very clear – these Christians are in prison today because of their faith. Their very freedom has been taken away because they chose to preach the Gospel. And the regime doesn't seem to want to stop there. In addition to those arrested and imprisoned, Nicaragua has issued arrest warrants for three Americans, all associated with Mountain Gateway, as well."

"Mountain Gateway is an American non-profit, a faith-based organization that was founded by an Alabamian and is based in Texas," said Britt. "Mountain Gateway recruits, trains, commissions, and sends out ordained Christian ministers to spread the Gospel. In Nicaragua, the organization has advanced God's Kingdom through discipleship, through feeding and clothing those in need, through providing assistance during natural disasters, and sharing the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. These individuals doing this work should be celebrated – not persecuted."

"We've called on the Biden Administration to utilize all sanctions enforcement powers and leverage in any diplomatic way," said Britt. "Any options that are in the toolbox should be used to force Nicaragua to remedy this situation. Today, I want to emphasize that we can not – and we will not – stop speaking up against this religious persecution in Nicaragua. We are calling on the Biden Administration to do more now. The regime must stop targeting American citizens. And it needs to begin faithfully upholding religious freedom, in compliance with international law and universal standards of human rights."

Sen. Britt has also joined Senators Tommy Tuberville, Rick Scott (R-Florida), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) earlier this year in sending a letter to President Biden calling for sanctions on Nicaragua. Senator Britt also signed on to a bipartisan, bicameral letter this February led by Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) to the Ambassador of Nicaragua to the United States, expressing their deep concern with the arrest of the Mountain Gateway faith leaders.

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