Police officers in Nicaragua enforce government crackdown on Catholic Church representatives Police officers in Nicaragua enforce government crackdown on Catholic Church representatives  (AFP or licensors)

Nicaraguan Police confiscate and occupy Catholic schools

Authorities in Nicaragua evict nuns from an educational centre they run and confiscate the facility in the latest government crackdown on the Catholic Church in the country.

By Linda Bordoni

In the latest incident perpetrated by Nicaragua’s Sandinista government against the Catholic Church, a school run by the Missionary Daughters of Santa Luisa Marillac was occupied by police.

The Technical Institute in San Sebastián de Yalí was occupied by police on 30 May and the nuns were evicted from the premises.

The nuns were reportedly called to give statements in Managua and officially await a determination of the facts.

Various sources informed Vatican News that for the moment none of the nuns has been expelled from the country, and they are in good health, although there is deep concern for the situation and uncertainty regarding the future of the "Santa Luisa de Marillac” Technical Institute where the Sisters run training courses for the community. 


Catholic-run schools targeted

The incident follows a similar one last week in which authorities targeted the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin closing down their Susana López Carazo school in Rivas department, southern Nicaragua.

President Daniel Ortega’s regime expelled three nuns from that congregation.

The President of the General Assembly of Spanish religious men and women (CONFER), released a statement highlighting the uncertainty that many religious experience in Nicaragua.

Fray Jesús Díaz Sariego pointed out that “There is great confusion because, paradoxically, these are congregations that are very committed to the people of Nicaragua. They are committed to social work, to human promotion, to women, to caring for the elderly, the sick, and children. They work with the poorest.”  

A number of religious congregations have already had to leave the Central American country in recent months, including Missionaries of Charity, Dominicans of the Annunciation, Trappist Nuns, Religious Sisters of the Cross.

The Ortega regime has made targeting Catholic nuns part of its persecution of the Catholic Church in a country in which Catholics make up 58.5 per cent of the 6.5 million inhabitants.

Repression against the Church

The government began its repression against the Church in 2018 when it was facing demonstrations by thousands of protesters, and priests and bishops expressed criticism for the repression perpetrated by security forces and denounced crimes and violations of rights and freedoms.

Many Catholic leaders have since been detained, imprisoned or expelled, including Bishop Rolando Jose Alvarez Lagos of Matagalpa who is serving a 26-year sentence for treason and "for undermining national integrity".

Archbishop Waldemar Sommertag, Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua, was expelled in March last year

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02 June 2023, 12:40