Czech Republic: Church Property Seized Under Communism May Be Returned
Restitution Bill Passes Lower House Parliament
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ROME, JULY 25, 2012 (Zenit.org).- A restitution bill, which calls for the return of Church property seized during the 40 years of communist reign, passed the Czech Republic's lower house parliament earlier this month, but must yet pass the parliament's upper house for the bill to be enacted.
If the bill is successfully put into law, around half of all Church property nationalized by the communist government (worth about $4 billion) would be returned, and any property that cannot be returned would be compensated financially (around $2.8 billion), over the course of the next 30 years. Churches would, however, need to prove that they owned the property before Feb. 25, 1948, the day of the communist revolt. The Catholic Church would receive 80% of the property.
The Church property had been seized by the communist government between 1948 and 1989.