Czechoslovakia restores church property seized by communists

Czechoslovakia restores church property seized by communists

February 5th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

Perhaps no political movement in history killed more people than 20th century communism. By some estimates, it was responsible for the deaths of 100 million people, many of them in the Communist Soviet Union and Communist China.

But there was a fitting acknowledgment recently by the Czech government of the savagery of communism. Noting the viciousness doled out to Christians under communist rule in Czechoslovakia, the government agreed to return, or to pay billions of dollars in compensation for, church property that was seized by the communists.

Churches will get back about 60 percent of the property that was seized by the state, plus the financial compensation.

Of course, that cannot bring back the church leaders and other Christians who were murdered for their faith in what was then Czechoslovakia. (The country was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.) But to prevent future atrocities, it is vital to remember atrocities of the past.

Neither should we forget the modern-day plight of the still-oppressed citizens of communist nations such as China and, in particular, North Korea, whose regime is unmatched for its cruelty. We rightly treasure religious liberty in the United States, and we should pray that it would be enjoyed by all peoples.