State Committee on Nationalities and Religions Publishes Updated Bill on Restitution of Religious Property
The State Committee of Ukraine on Nationalities and Religions published an updated edition of the bill On Returning Religious Buildings to Religious Organizations, informs the Institute of Religious Freedom.
As noted in the preamble, the law is directed to regulate the legal and organized basis for returning religious buildings to religious organizations with the goal of mending rights that were violated by the totalitarian policy of the former USSR of churches and religious organizations who owned these buildings before they were transferred to state property.
Objects that are subject to be returned according to the text of the draft law are “religious buildings that were confiscated from religious organizations by the state.”
Furthermore, religious buildings mean they are designated for holding Mass, religious rites, ceremonies, and other types of religious practices.
The law also specifies that the religious buildings cannot be designated as residences for clergy, cannot house spiritual educational institutes, or be used for social purposes if they are not an integral part of the religious building.
According to the law, registered religious organizations or their legal successors that can confirm that they owned the objects when they were transferred to the property of the sate have the right to claim restitution.
The bill stipulates that a legal successor of a religious organization must have registered no later than January 12, 1994.