Other Charters in History

Similar Charters were signed in other parts of the world during the late and early twentieth century, and the same ought not be confused with Charter 77. The Charter 88 was signed in Britain whereas the Charter 08 was signed as part of the Chinese Liberation Movement and the Charter 97 was signed in Belarus . However this Czech Charter 77 was the first ever charter of such kind in the course of history to have bagged the Sakharov Freedom Award in 1984. The award committee was set up and named after the revolutionary Soviet thinker Andrei Sakharov and the signatories of the Charter 77 were the first ever recipients of this prestigious award.

Impact of Charters

Coming back to Charter 77, we can use it as a basis to study the impact of such charters on various institutions. The church, in particular the Catholic Church was affected by the passing of this Charter as were many other institutions.

When there was Communist seizure of power, it was not just the common citizens who lost their rights, but the Catholic Church as well. For the next 40 years, all land, power and any properties belonging to the Church was seized. Such power crackdown has been witnessed in other Communist coups across the world as well, simply because there cannot be two different power centers. The state was considered to be all-supreme, so it was necessary to curb all authority of the church, and reduce it to a second fiddle to the government, stripped of all its powers. Many other institutions too lost power to the government but the church was the most significant and obvious of them all.