The missionaries of the Mother Teresa of Calcutta order are expelled from Nicaragua

The missionaries of the Mother Teresa of Calcutta order are expelled from Nicaragua

After more than 30 years of serving in Nicaragua, a group of nuns from the Missionaries of Charity Association, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, left the country guarded by agents from the Ministry of Migration and Foreigners, after being expelled after the organization was outlawed with which they were operating.

The 18 nuns who were serving in different places in Nicaragua, were received in Costa Rica, Monsignor Manuel Eugenio Salazar Mora, bishop of the Diocese of Tilarán-Liberia, reported on social networks.

“It is an honor for our Diocese of Tilarán-Liberia that its plants step on these lands. We pray for the Church in Nicaragua, for its bishops, priests, men and women religious. Be welcome to these lands,” Monsignor Salazar wrote on his Facebook account.

The departure of the missionaries from Nicaragua comes a week after the government of President Daniel Ortega outlawed some 100 NGOs in a parliamentary session, including the Missionaries of Charity Association, which the ruling party accused of not being accredited to act as nursing home or child development center.

The headquarters of the religious organization, located in Managua, was taken by the Nicaraguan Police, according to the local newspaper the press.

regret measure

The executive measure has been rejected by several organizations. Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, archbishop of Managua, issued a press release in which he deeply lamented the pain of so many brothers who will no longer have the attention they received “from the nuns; he likewise expressed “his gratitude for the invaluable service to our local churches.”

Meanwhile, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) expressed on Twitter that the administration of President Daniel Ortega “violated” the nuns with the measure “of hatred of the church, its work of charity and evangelization.”

“They violated their religious rights and the right to honor and reputation by stating that they were not accredited and that they practically worked illegally in Nicaragua,” said the Cenidh, which lamented that “countless children and elderly people have been left defenseless. ”.

Nicaragua has been experiencing a serious political and human rights crisis since 2018, when the protests against President Daniel Ortega began.

The president has launched a campaign against opposition leaders, but also against religious leaders, whom he has come to call “demons in cassocks”, after criticizing him for his measures against the opposition.

According to a report compiled by Nicaraguan researcher Martha Molina, the church has suffered at least 190 attacks of different kinds since 2018.

The United States Department of State has also alerted about the attacks on the church. In early June, Secretary Anthony Blinken said that “throughout 2021, President Daniel Ortega and Vice President and First Lady Rosario Murillo verbally harassed priests and bishops, calling them ‘terrorists in cassocks’ and ‘coup plotters.’ , and accusing them of committing crimes”.

In addition, the United States has denounced that in 2021, pro-government groups besieged religious leaders and faithful following the pattern that began in 2018, when the protests against President Daniel Ortega began and in which the Nicaraguan Church opened the temples to give refuge to opponents. fleeing repression.

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