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65 women religious have been expelled from Nicaragua since 2022

ORTEGA

CANAL 6 NICARAGUA / AFP

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Daniel Esparza - published on 08/11/23

From 2022 through 2023, 65 women religious have been expelled and six women from different congregations have been prohibited from entering Nicaragua, for a total of 71.

President Daniel Ortega’s steady, ongoing silencing of dissenting voices in Nicaragua has directly targeted the Catholic Church systematically for at least five years now. Among his most scandalous dictates were the explicit prohibition of traditional public processions of the Way of the Cross in all parishes in the country during Holy Week, the sudden and forceful expulsion of a Panamanian Claretian missionary friar, the expropriation of a Trappist monastery, and the imprisonment of Bishop Rolando Álvarez.

A note published by Catholic World Report explains that Martha Patricia Molina, a member of the editorial board of the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa, reported that Ortega’s regime has expelled 65 nuns from the country between 2022 and 2023.

“From 2022 through 2023, 65 women religious have been expelled and six women from different religious congregations have been prohibited from entering, for a total of 71,” Molina wrote on her Facebook profile last July 29.

Molina, who is also a cyberactivist and the author of the report called Nicaragua: A Persecuted Church?, said that a total of 10 religious congregations in the country have been affected, including Dominicans of the Annunciation, Missionaries of Charity, Trappist nuns, Women Religious of the Cross of the Sacred Heart, and Sisters of the Fraternity of the Poor Ones of Jesus Christ of Nicaragua.

Nicaragua’s persecution

The 16th edition of Religious Freedom in the World, a biannual report that Aid to the Church in Need has been publishing since 1999, this year for the first time has used the color red – indicating persecution – on a map of the Americas, singling out Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua, for mistreatment of the Catholic Church there. 

In the last five years alone, the Catholic Church in Nicaragua has gone through more than 190 attacks and desecrations, including a fire in the Managua Cathedral, the exile and stripping of the citizenship of more than 222 former political prisoners (priests, bishops, and seminarians included).

Tags:
NicaraguaPersecution of Christians
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