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Nicaraguan Pastors Facing $80M Fines, Imprisoned with ‘No Proof Whatsoever’ After Huge Revival

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An American missionary is fighting back after he, his family, and 11 Christian leaders are facing serious charges from Nicaraguan officials who accuse them of money laundering and organized crime.

Listen to them on the latest episode of “Quick Start”:

Britt Hancock, founder of Mountain Gateway Order, Inc., denied these charges in an interview with CBN News and said he believes the legal battle is a direct response to the scores of Nicaraguans who attended his organization’s powerful evangelistic events last year.

“In 2023, Mountain Gateway helped to organize a series of mass evangelism campaigns — eight of them throughout the year,” he said. “We began in February and had the last one in November. But 1,000,000 people in total came to those eight meetings.”

Hancock said arrests began a month after the final meeting, with the national leader, coordinators of the events, and main pastors all being detained by mid-December.

Watch Hancock explain:

ADF International attorney Kristina Hjelkrem, who is representing Mountain Gateway, told CBN News the imprisoned leaders are accused of aggravated money laundering.

“The government has no proof whatsoever to that extent,” she said. “Mountain Gateway has tried several times to prove their innocence and to provide evidence to this point to the court, but the government has either ceased or prohibited this evidence to reach the court file.”

The potential prison sentences are sweeping, with Hjelkrem noting they range from 12 to 15 years and up to $80,000,000 per person — a fine she said is not common in the Nicaraguan judicial system.

As CBN News previously reported, Hancock, his son Jacob, and daughter-in-law Cassandra are all facing the aforementioned charges.

Mountain Gateway has denied and rebuked the allegations, saying it “diligently followed all legal requirements in the U.S. and Nicaragua that apply to nonprofit and faith-based organizations.”

Hancock believes the size and scope of the evangelistic successes are what drew the government’s ire, especially considering the work he has done in the country without incident since 2013. The revival events were so huge, they dominated social media and media more generally.

“For the year, we became really the dominant social influence in Nicaragua, and they’re not OK with that — if anything, takes the sort of the emphasis off of them and their narrative,” Hancock said of the government. “They have a history, a long history of responding very harshly against things like that, and so there’s no doubt in my mind that that’s the reason.”

While Hancock and his family safely returned to the U.S., the 11 people being detained in Nicaragua face what Hjelkrem said is a “dire situation.”

“All of the religious leaders are in maximum security prisons,” she said. “They do not have contact with their family nor with their attorneys, and they are being denied medical assistance. We are very worried for the state of their health and their life, physical integrity, mental integrity.”

Watch Hjelkrem and Hancock explain how they’re fighting back against the allegations.

***Massive Move of God in Nicaragua: Nearly 1 Million Attend, Thousands Choose Christ, Miracles Abound

***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***



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