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 Vilnius, March 24: Governmental Subsidies for Traditional Religious Communities

On Thursday, March 24 Lithuanian Government assigned 2, 851 million litas for the leadership of 7 traditional Churches and religious communities. The assignments were made according to statistical data provided by the Department of Statistics. Additional subsidy from the governmental budget in amount of 1, 3 million litas will be assigned for the parish of the Christ’s Resurrection in Kaunas because of the national importance of the monumental Christ’s Resurrection church . Total amount of governmental subsidies traditional religious communities in 2005 makes 4,179 million litas.

Annual governmental subsidy of 2 851 000 litas was assigned for 7 traditional Churches an communities. Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference received 2 609 000 litas. The amount of 144 000 Lt. was assigned to the Lithuanian Ortodox Eparchy belonging to Moscow Patriarchate. Supreme Council of Old Believers received 35 600 litas; the Consistory of Lutheran Church – 28, 6 thousand litas; Mufti Center of Lithuanian Muslim Sunit community – 12 700 Lt; Lithuanian Karaite community – 10 200 Lt. St. Josaphat Basilian monastery of Byzantine rite in Vilnius was subsidized with 10 300 litas.

Assignments for Reformed Evangelical (Calvinist) communities and Jewish communities (total amount 27 900 litas) were delayed until July 1, when the mentioned communities living through inner splitting process will provide statistical data of their membership.

According to the1995 Law on Religious Communities and Associations Lithuanian State recognizes nine traditional religious communities and associations, which have been contributing to historical, spiritual and social heritage of Lithuania: Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran, Evangelical Reformed, Russian Orthodox, Old Believers’, Judaic, Sunni Muslim and Karaite.

Annual governmental subsidies are intended to compensate the devastations of buildings and intitutions experienced by religious communities during the Soviet occupation in 1940 –1990. Lithuanian traditional religious communities were subsidized with 2, 875 million litas from national budget in 2004, correspondingly 4, 879 million litas in 2003.

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