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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Deal on church property

Joel Ruml, chair of the Czech Ecumenical Council, welcomed a draft settlement that allows churches in the Czech Republic to reclaim buildings and land seized under communist rule.

Ownership of those church properties, seized in the 1940s and 1950s, has been disputed since the 1989 Velvet Revolution ended communist rule.

Ruml said official legislation is expected to come early next year, with restitution beginning as soon as January 2013.

The settlement agreement also means churches would have to give up subsidies in a country where the state has paid clergy salaries since the 18th century.


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