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European Journal

Czech Republic: Controversy over Church Properties

Many Czech churches and monasteries are in a state of ruin. The churches are impoverished, in part because property seized during the Communist era has not been returned.

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According to a draft restitution law, the churches could be entitled to nearly three billion euros in compensation. An additional two billion euros would come from church-owned land now being used for other purposes. But politicians in Prague have been squabbling over the restitution deal for years. Due to the uncertain legal situation, use has been restricted for much municipal land that was once church property.