Nicaraguan government bans Jesuit order and says all its property will be confiscated

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Religion

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nicaragua’s government on Wednesday declared the Jesuit religious order illegal and ordered the confiscation of all its property.The move comes one week after the government of President Daniel Ortega confiscated the Jesuit-run University of Central America in Nicaragua, arguing it was a “center of terrorism.”
The confiscation order published Wednesday claimed the Roman Catholic order had failed to comply with tax reporting.
It was the latest in a series of increasingly authoritarian actions by the Nicaraguan government against the Catholic Church and opposition figures. The Jesuit order, known as the Society of Jesus, has condemned the measures.
The University of Central America in Nicaragua was a hub for 2018 protests against the Ortega regime.
After last week’s announcement, the Society of Jesus of Central America said in a statement: “This is a government policy that systematically violates human rights and appears to be aimed at consolidating a totalitarian state.”
Since December 2021, at least 26 Nicaraguan universities have been closed and their assets seized by order of the Ortega government with a similar procedure. Seven of those were foreign institutions.
In April, the Vatican closed its embassy in Nicaragua after the country’s government proposed suspending diplomatic relations.
Two congregations of nuns, including from the Missionaries of Charity order founded by Mother Teresa, were expelled from Nicaragua last year.
The expulsions, closures and confiscations have not just targeted the church. Nicaragua has outlawed or closed more than 3,000 civic groups and non-governmenta …

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