Return of Church property confiscated by communists to begin in the Czech Republic

Prague, June 4, 2013

Return of property confiscated in the past by the communist authorities to churches will begin in the Czech Republic, reports The law on this issue was passed by the Czech Parliament, but left-wing parties have appealed to the Constitutional Court asking to cancel it, because in their opinion, it was not fair.

According to the law, churches and religious organizations will receive property that belonged to them earlier, in the value of 75 billion korunas (just less than 4 billion dollars) as well as financial compensation from the state of 59 billion karunas (3 billion dollars).

Churches can expect a return of 30 thousand hectares of farmland, 900 buildings, 120 residential houses, 3 monasteries, 3 castles and several hundred lakes.

Representatives of the Baptist Church stated that they would refuse the compensation.

Concurrently, over the course of seventeen years the Czech government will be reducing state subsidies to churches and by 2030 Czech churches are supposed to be self-sufficient.

The law has provoked sharp debate in the Czech Republic—the country with the greatest percentage of atheists in Europe.


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