This story is interesting and relevant for us in a few ways. First, it illustrates again how the fate of churches so often depends on their relationships with the government. Second, it demonstrates how large the stakes may be for some church-state interactions.
But the sentence that really caught my eye was this one:
Under the plan, the churches would become independent from the state and gradually stop getting government financing.It is not clear whether the author means that the Catholic Church would stop receiving any money from the government, or if only the facilities on the returned properties would stop receiving government funds. My guess is the later, but I welcome clarification. As I understand it (and I welcome correction from a reader), the Czech government subsidizes officially recognized religions, of which the Roman Catholic Church is one. So ending the subsidy to the Church would be a significant change.
It remains to be seen how this affects the long-run success of the Roman Catholic Church in the Czech Republic. They were once the dominant religious body but are now around 10% of the country's population. Czechs are also known for being some of the least religious in all of Europe.