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Why Missionaries of Charity nuns were expelled from Nicaragua?


Nicaragua's Sandinista government recently ordered a total shutdown of Missionaries of Charity, a religious order established by Mother Teresa.


In Nicaragua, Mother Teresa established the first congregation outside India upon a decree In 1965 by Pope Paul VI. Mother Teresa visited Nicaragua in 1986 and even prayed for peace in the Central American country when Ortega was president for the first time. The recent decision of Daniel Ortega’s regime after evaluating the undercover activities of the "spouses of Jesus Christ" to dissolve the Missionaries of Charity Association was approved by Sandinista deputies in the National Assembly on 6th July 2022.


Nicaragua is located between the Pacific and Caribbean oceans in Central America, with Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. Nicaragua is located between the Pacific and Caribbean oceans in Central America, with Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. Nicaragua is predominantly a farming country. Six million people of mestizo, indigenous, European, and African ancestry make up the multi-ethnic population. Spanish is the primary language. The Mosquito Coast's indigenous tribes speak their languages as well as English. Roman Catholicism has always been the main religion, with significant governmental and social influence.


The Sandinista government of President Daniel Ortega, which has been in power for the past 15 years, has formally declared the closure of the Missionaries of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, as well as other 100 non-government (NGOs), operating in the nation, including several Catholic organizations.


According to Nicaraguan authorities, the Missionaries of Charity Association has "failed to comply with its legal requirements," notably "Law 977" on money laundering, terrorism financing, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, the Missionaries are not accredited "by the Ministry for the Family to function as a nursery-center for childhood development, home for girls, and home for the elderly," nor "do they have an operating permit from the Ministry of Education to provide remedial education for students,". Their “financial statements reported to the Ministry of the Interior don’t agree” with other documents presented for review.


According to the newspaper El Confidencial, “the nuns were taken by the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration and the police from the cities of Managua and Granada, to the border country of Costa Rica. 18 missionaries were expelled. Among them were women from various countries including India (7), Mexico (2), Spain (1), Guatemala (2), Ecuador (1), Vietnam (1), Philippines (2), and two Nicaraguans”.


The list of Catholic organizations the Government has ordered to close also includes the Spirituality Foundation for Children of Nicaragua, the Catholic Foundation for Human Development Assistance for Nicaraguans, the My Childhood Mothers Foundation, and the Diriomito Children’s Care Home Association.


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