Czech churches get $3.8B for property reparations

June 17, 2013

A Czech cardinal welcomed final court approval of government plans to pay billions of dollars to churches in compensation for their losses under communist rule.

On June 3, the Constitutional Court cleared the way for the implementation of a 2012 law that says 56 per cent of assets, valued at $3.8 billion, will be returned to Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish communities, with $3 billion paid out over a 30-year period as compensation for the rest of the properties.

During that period, annual government grants to churches will also be phased out.

"This ruling on the law for property settlements closes one of the infamous chapters in our history," said Cardinal Dominik Duka of Prague.