The government continued to provide financial support to religious groups with second-tier registration and to sponsor religiously oriented cultural activities.
Religious groups received approximately CZK 3.4 billion ($174.7 million) from the government. The government paid approximately CZK 1.4 billion ($72 million) as a contribution to 17 religious groups with second-tier registration and CZK 2 billion ($102.8 million) as part of compensation for communal property in state hands that would not be returned to churches. While accepting the state contribution, the Baptist Union opted not to accept the compensation. The MOC provided CZK 2.2 million ($113,000) in grants for religiously oriented cultural activities.
The Hussite Church of Jan Zizka of Trocnov filed an application for first-tier registration in September that remained pending at year’s end. The church had originally filed in 2010 under the name of the Hussite Church and again, under the same name, in November 2011. The last application was rejected by the government in November 2012.
Also pending at the MOC were applications from the Ukrainian Orthodox Greek‑Catholic Church, Christian Church of Free Friars, and Order of the Guardians of the Crown and Sword of the Iron and Golden King. The government registered the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in March, the Salvation Army in September, and the New Life Church in October. The MOC suspended the registration application of the religious association Unity of St. Kliment because the church failed to respond to the ministry’s request for additional information.
The government continued to address religious communal property restitution problems. Jewish claims dated to the period of the Nazi occupation during World War II, while Roman Catholic authorities and other religious groups pressed claims for properties seized during the communist era. Although the government had returned most Roman Catholic churches, parishes, and monasteries in the 1990s, most land and forests had remained in state possession.
Based on the new Act on Church Restitution, the Brno Jewish Community re‑applied for a property in the possession of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs that was the subject of a previous court proceeding. The government had previously returned nearly all of the state-owned properties the Federation of Jewish Communities claimed.
The Ministry of Interior continued to counter right-wing groups espousing anti‑Semitic views by monitoring their activities, increasing cooperation with police from neighboring countries, shutting down unauthorized rallies, and pursuing Holocaust-denial investigations and prosecutions.
In April, Deputy Chairman of the Senate Premysl Sobotka and Lord Mayor of Prague Bohuslav Svoboda sponsored and participated in an annual march against anti-Semitism.
In May, the government approved the 2013 Concept to Fight Extremism, which stressed the importance of implementing preventive measures, including specialized training for teachers and police. The concept paper included recommendations for the Ministry of Education on training educators how to teach students about the Holocaust and ensuring that texts were free of anti-Semitic and other extremist views.
In July, Czech police charged two men over the publication of a book of selected speeches of Adolf Hitler. The trial for these men remained pending at year’s end.