Friday, January 25, 2008

UPDATE: Czech government reaches agreement with Church

Prague, Jan. 24, 2008 ( - The Czech Republic has agreed to pay $4.6 billion to compensate Christian churches for the properties that were confiscated by the Communist regime, in 1948 the KAI news agency reports.

The government compensation would be offered to 17 different Christian groups whose properties were seized, with the payments beginning in 2009.

The proposed agreement must still be approved by the Czech parliament, where the governing three-party coalition has only 100 of the 200 seats. Several parliamentarians from the largest party, the Civic Democratic Party, have questioned the settlement.

In 1990-1991, the government of what was then Czechoslovakia took a preliminary step toward resolving claims by returning 169 properties. The Czech Republic is now the last one of the former Communist states to offer a general settlement on church-property claims.

This isn't as good news as it could have been. It would be better if the Church could actually get their properties back. I understand that some of the properties that were seized were probably destroyed or converted by the commies, but some were not. I haven't read if a true agreement was reached regarding the Cathedral, but I wish the Czech government would return the properties that are still churches.