The Ecumenical Council of Churches has voiced its concern over the fact that the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament supported, in the first reading, the proposal of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia to impose a tax on church restitutions.
It has drawn attention to its statement, issued by the General Assembly of the Ecumenical Council of Churches on 21 November 2017:
“The General Assembly declares that the passing of Act No. 428/2012 Coll. and the subsequent conclusion of the relevant contracts renders the issue of church restitutions a settled matter from the point of view of the Ecumenical Council of Churches. The achieved status quo was the result of a compromise agreed on by all the involved parties and returned certain asset foundations to the churches, as well as their independent position. The existence and activities of churches are an essential element in every democratic society.”
The Ecumenical Council of Churches insists on this statement and considers it sadly ironic that this proposal is being discussed at the moment when we are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the 1948 communist coup d’état and the totalitarian regime that ensued, claiming many victims. The Ecumenical Council of Churches is prepared to use all available democratic means of countering any attempts to legalize and relativize the harm caused by the communist regime.