Nicaragua regime shuts country’s largest Catholic charity

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In Nicaragua, the regime of President Daniel Ortega decided on banning two universities belonging to the Catholic Church and banned the activities of the Catholic charity Caritas, the country's media reported. The closed-down universities are the John Paul II University in the country’s capital city Managua, and the Autonomous Christian University of Nicaragua (UCAN) in the city of Leon, reported the daily La Gaceta.

According to the newspaper, the Nicaraguan authorities have already approved the confiscation of the property of both universities. As reported by another newspaper, “La Prensa”, citing information from within the regime, the activities of Caritas were banned because “it lost its legal personality”.

According to the Ortega regime, Caritas Nicaragua “was to dissolve voluntarily.”

Since 2019, the far-left Nicaraguan regime has been conducting a series of actions against church institutions, clergy and various Catholic organizations. In February a court in Managua sentenced Bishop Rolando Alvarez to 26 years imprisonment. The bishop of the diocese of Matagalpa, who was critical of the regime, was convicted of spreading false news, acting to the detriment of national integrity, obstructing the orders of the authorities, and disobedience.” The hierarch, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, was also stripped of his Nicaraguan citizenship The Auxiliary Bishop of Managua Silvio Baez, left the country in 2019 and was also stripped of Nicaraguan citizenship.

The Church authorities confirm that priests and people from religious congregations are furthermore systematically forced to have to leave Nicaragua as a result of government persecution.

In March, another Catholic congregation - Trappist nuns who have been serving there for 20 years, and as of July 2022 nuns from the Sisters of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta - also decided on leaving the country.

The government is also working to shut down the Catholic media, as well as mass media, where critical opinions about government policy are presented. According to human rights organizations, the Ortega regime has already expelled more than 200 journalists from Nicaragua, including numerous Catholic media workers.