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Turkish church in tax dispute

Catholic World News - April 11, 2012

The Vatican has reported intervened in a tax dispute involving a church in Turkey that has been assessed a penalty of 1 million liras (about $550,000) for non-payment.

St. Antoine’s Church in Taksim has been notified that while the church itself is exempt from taxation as a house of worship, the church courtyard is not registered as tax-exempt. Father Lulian Pishta, the pastor, argues that the parish, established in 1230, has always included the courtyard, and argues that if a mosque is not required to register its courtyard as religious property, a Christian church should have the same privilege.

Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan says that the tax problem reflects nothing more than oversight. “This fine will not be paid,” he said. “The community can stop worrying.”

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