Romania seizes Transylvanian Reformed Church property

The Supreme Court of Romania rejected an appeal by the Transylvanian Reformed Church, effectively re-nationalizing the Székely Mikó College in Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe in Romanian).

editor: REMIX NEWS

The school was built by the Reformed Church from private donations and operated until Communist Romania nationalized it – along with most other larger private properties in Romania. In May 2002, after lengthy legal proceedings the school was restituted to the church.

But the Romanian state nullified the restitution, demanded monetary compensation from the Reformed Church and even sentenced three Sepsiszentgyörgy municipality officials to three years each for abuse of power. Their guilt was to have previosuly had testified in favor of the Reformed Church’s right to the property.

Following a long series of appeals, the Romanian Supreme Court rejected the appeal, effectively giving the school back to the state. Reformed Church officials said they will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The largest political party of the ethnic Hungarians living in Romania, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) said the decision went against all legal principles and practice.

“We support the Reformed Church in its decision to appeal to the Strasbourg human rights court in the case of the Mikó College,” RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen said in a statement. “This decision breaches the rule of law and all the duties Romania has declared both in its own laws and international treaties.”


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