Nicaragua revokes the legal status of the Catholic Jesuit order

(Reuters) – Nicaragua’s government has stripped the Jesuit religious community, a prominent Catholic congregation, of its legal status and ordered the confiscation of all its assets, the country’s interior ministry said on Wednesday.

The move marks the latest action by President Daniel Ortega’s administration in a sweeping crackdown on Nicaragua’s Catholic Church.

According to the ministry’s announcement in the Government Gazette, the religious group has failed to provide required financial reports and update its board for the past three years, in violation of transparency laws.

It was not immediately clear what assets would be confiscated or whether individual Jesuits could be expelled from the country as a result of the legal annulment.

Neither the government nor a spokesman for the order immediately responded to a request for comment.

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The legal overturn came after the government earlier this month seized a prestigious Jesuit-run university in the Central American country, ordering the confiscation of its assets and causing it to suspend classes.

(Reporting by Ismael Lopez; Text by Isabel Woodford; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Mark Porter)

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