Around Prague there are hundreds of stones inlaid in the pavement honouring the victims of the Holocaust. They are known as Stolpersteine, which literally translates as “stumbling stones”, while Czechs refer to them as “the stones of the disappeared”. Sometimes grimy and easy to miss, these stones have been receiving fresh attention thanks to Trevor Sage, who decided last year to go around the city and clean them all. Since then the retired Briton, who has been living here for over a decade, has created interactive maps and built up the Solpersteine
Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly denounced Czech
President Miloš Zeman’s claims that Turkey was a de facto ally of the
Islamic State. The ministry’s spokesman said the statements are false and
insulting, both to the country and its president.
The Czech head of state said on Tuesday that despite seeking EU membership and being a NATO member, Turkey had served as a mediator in logistics operations for the Islamic State when it occupied parts of Syria and Iraq.
President Zeman also accused his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of pursuing a policy of Islamizing his country.
Prague’s Muslim Community has distanced itself from statements made by
its new chairman, Leonid Kušnarenko. In a video posted on his Facebook
profile he offered to help members of the community to acquire firearms. He
made the offer in response to the recent terrorist attack on Muslims in New
Zealand’s Christchurch and a growing anti-Islamic mood in the Czech
The Prague Muslim Community said that any statements made by Mr. Kušnarenko expressed his views alone and did not represent the attitude of Muslims in the capital or elsewhere in the Czech Republic.
The speaker of the Czech lower house, Radek Vondráček, will have a
private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday. Mr.
Vondráček told journalists on Tuesday that he would discuss church-state
relations with the pontiff. The ANO politician said he would also raise the
issue of the Roman Catholic Church’s charity work in the Czech Republic.
Mr. Vondráček will be accompanied by the speaker of the Slovak parliament, Andrej Danko. While in Rome the pair plan to mark the anniversary of the death of St. Cyril 1150 years ago.
The regional court in Brno has rejected a complaint by the head of the
Czech Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Dominik Duka regarding two theatre
plays staged in Brno in May of last year.
The plays Our Violence, Your Violence and The Curse, directed by Oliver Frljic from Croatia, included a scene in which Jesus rapes a Muslim woman, sparking protests from some of the locals who forced their way on stage and tried to stop the performance.
Cardinal Duka filed a lawsuit against the theatre on the grounds that the plays were an attack on his rights guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights such as the right to freedom of religion and the right to dignity and honour.
The judge said the scenes were allegorical and could not be seen as violating individuals' rights.
People in Brno on Sunday marked the 80th anniversary of the burning down of
the Moravian capital’s Great Synagogue shortly before Adolf Hitler
arrived in the city. Around 100 people laid flowers and lit candles at the
spot where the synagogue had stood on the corner of the streets Spálená
The building was completed in 1855 and had a capacity for over 1,000 worshippers. It was burned down on the night of March 17, 1939 by Brno Nazis, evidently as a “gift” to Hitler, the Czech News Agency wrote.
MPs are set to vote again this week in favour of a proposal to tax
financial compensation awarded to churches in lieu of property that could
not be returned in restitution.
The Senate had rejected the Communist-drafted proposal, arguing it was unconstitutional and unjust to tax money paid in compensation for properties confiscated by the former regime.
The Communists have conditioned their tolerance of the minority government comprised of the ANO and Social Democrat parties on the proposal passing.
They estimate the Czech state stands to recover about 380 million crowns annually from the roughly 2 billion crowns it now transfers to 16 churches and a Jewish federation under bilateral agreements.
The Czech state will remain owner of a Baroque flower garden in
Kroměříž, according to a ruling by the Moravia town’s district court,
which rejected a claim by the Archdiocese of Olomouc.
The Flower Garden of Kroměříž is exceptional in a broader European context as it represents a transition between late renaissance Italian gardens and classical Baroque gardens of the French style.
The Archdiocese argued that the garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site, forms a coherent whole with the adjacent chateau, both of which the Catholic Church recovered in 2015 in restitution. The properties had been confiscated by the communist regime.
Czechs offer restoration experts to help France rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral
“We will remember them”: Trevor Sage, the Englishman cleaning Prague’s Holocaust memorial plaques
The Czech “koruna” celebrates 100th birthday
Czech Easter traditions explained
Czech “breastfeeding guerrilla” mums stage “feed-ins” over incident at Austrian bank