Despite worldwide protests and condemnation, the Sandinista regime’s crackdown against the Catholic Church and opposition continues unabated.

After expelling a community of Jesuit priests from their private residence close to the Central American University (UCA) in Managua, and confiscating the university, on Wednesday, 23 August, Nicaraguan authorities banned the entire Society of Jesus from the country and ordered the confiscation of all its assets, claiming the religious order had failed to comply with tax reporting.

The move comes one week after the government closed the Jesuit-run UCA in Managua which was a hub for 2018 protests against President Daniel Ortega’s regime, arguing it was a “centre of terrorism”.

The seizure, which adds the some 26 Nicaraguan universities the Sandinista regime has closed since 2021, was followed three days later by the eviction of a community of Jesuit priests from their residence nearby.

The measures have sparked strong reactions from Jesuit worldwide, including the Superior General of the order, Father Arturo de Sosa, SJ.

In a statement last week, Central American Province of the Society of Jesus described the government policy as a systematic violation of human rights “aimed at consolidating a totalitarian state.”

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Photo: Daniel Ortega, by Ismael Francisco/ Cubadebate / Creative Commons License