Judges in Europe rejected a human-rights complaint filed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints against the United Kingdom, which means that the Utah-based faith will have to pay property tax for its Preston temple. The verdict was passed on March 4.
The church claims to have close to 190,000 members in the United Kingdom where Mormon meetinghouses have to pay no property taxes. However, temples such as the Latter-day Saints (LDS) are restricted to only devout Latter-day Saints with recommendations.
In 2005, the British government ruled that the Mormon temple in Lancashire would not be able to enjoy a full property tax break as it does not count as a “place of public religious worship.” On Tuesday, the France-based European Court of Human Rights stood by the same verdict. The temple however does receive an 80 percent reduction in rates as it is used for charitable purposes.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints respects the decision of the Strasbourg court and is grateful that the charitable activities of churches are recognized under U.K. and European law,” said Malcolm Adcock, a spokesman for the church in Britain.
The church’s temple in London refused to comment on the matter. Church representatives from Salt Lake City failed to give an update on a summon for LDS church president Thomas Monson in a British court on charges of fraud brought by a former Mormon bishop as well.
Earlier, a district judge in Westminster Magistrates’ Court of London issued a summons to Monson who is regarded as a seer, prophet and revelator in Mormonism.
Photo Credits: Andy Munzer