Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC) thanks Chief Minister

FEDERATION OF TELUGU CHURCHES (FTC)

(Apex Body of Bishops and Church Heads in A.P. and T.S.)

(known till recently as APFC – Regd. No. 89 of 2008)

TCBC Center, 2/3 Sikh Village, Secunderabad, T.S. – 500 009

Cell: 09849965958 E-mail: apchurches@gmail.com

A.P. Chief Minister turns a Santa Claus on the eve of Christmas

FTC thanks the CM

On behalf of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the Chief Minister Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu hosted Christmas Hi-Tea on Dec. 24, 2014 in Guntur town, which is the capital of the District of Guntur which falls under the region of new State Capital. During the occasion, Chief Minister, along with conveying Christmas greetings, bestowed several gifts and benefit schemes to the Christians in the State.  He assured that State Christian Finance Corporation would be re-constituted with adequate funds, and a Pilgrimage Committee would be set up, along the lines of Haj Committee, for promoting pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He promised that GO MS No.341 would be implemented seriously and all the welfare schemes and concessions now being granted to the Scheduled Castes would be extended to the Dalit Christians as well. The Chief Minister disclosed that he already gave orders to the District Collector of Guntur to identify two acres of land in the town to build a Christian Bhavan with the cost of Rs 10/- Crores. Orders also would be passed to the officials concerned to locate vacant lands for Christian cemeteries. Reminding that in the past during the rule of TDP Government no attacks had taken place on the Christians, he guaranteed that they would be fully protected and promoted in socially, economically and politically. While wishing all a merry Christmas, the Chief Minister announced that he would be giving a gift of rations to the tune of Rs 200/- for each poor family in the State to enjoy a festive dinner. He concluded his speech requesting the Bishops, pastors and the members of Christian community to pray in a special way during Christmas for the Government. 

The Speaker of the Assembly Sri K. Sivaprasada Rao, many Cabinet Ministers, members of Parliament (MPs) and State Legislative Assembly (MLAs), and Government Officials took part in the programme along with Bishops and close to 1000 Christian leaders who came from the districts. Sri R. Krishore Babu, Minister for Social Welfare, and Sri P. Raghunatha Reddy, Minister for Minority Welfare, extended Christmas greetings to the gathering. Most Rev. Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur and General Secretary of Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC), delivered the Christmas message and assured the prayerful support of the Churches to the Government for the development of the State.

During the Hi-Tea, the Government felicitated some prominent Christian social workers Bishop Gollapalli John, Professor Emeritus Ravela Joseph and Dr Arun Kumar Mahanti of AMG. Prizes were also awarded to the winners of various competitions held on the eve of Christmas.

Fr Dr Anthoniraj Thumma, Executive Secretary of FTC, submitted a fresh memorandum (given below) to the Chief Minister on the demands of Christian Community and the needs of the Churches in the State of A.P. In the memorandum, FTC requested him to write a letter to the Prime Minister to grant SC status to the Dalit Christians. The Chief Minister was reminded to respond urgently to the problems faced by the Church-run Educational Institutions and to fill up the grant-in-aid teachers’ posts following the judgment of High Court of A.P. by utilizing the funds of Sarva Siksha Abiyan (SSA) and to grant them exemption from property tax.

The Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC), which consists of Bishops / Church Heads of mainline Churches and major Christian Denominations, is thankful the Chief Minister for fulfilling some of its requests on the eve of Christmas. FTC appeals to him to attend urgently to the long pending important demands of the Churches, as he assured during the event. 

Rev. Fr Dr Anthoniraj Thumma, Executive Secretary of Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC)

FTC Secretariat, Secunderabad, T.S. – 500 009, Mobile: 09849965958

Secunderabad, December 25, 2014

FEDERATION OF TELUGU CHURCHES (FTC)

(Apex Body of Bishops and Church Heads in A.P. and T.S.)

(known till recently as APFC – Regd. No. 89 of 2008)

TCBC Center, 2/3 Sikh Village, Secunderabad, T.S. – 500 009

Cell: 09849965958 E-mail: apchurches@gmail.com

——————————————————————————————–

Memorandum submitted to Sri N. Chandrababu Naidu

Hon. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh

During Christmas Hi-Tea at Guntur on 24-12-2014 

The Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC), which is an apex body of the mainline Churches and major Christian Denominations in the State, is thankful to you for your commitment in championing the cause of secularism and protecting the rights of Minorities especially the Christian Minority Community. As you are aware, the Christian Churches, though a minority, contribute over 25% of charitable services to the society at large. We have been in the forefront in providing education, health care and social welfare particularly to the poorer and weaker sections. To enable us to render these services in a more effective manner, we request you to assist us by redressing the following urgent concerns of the Christian Minority Community:

  1. Please bring pressure on the Central Government to extend SC status to the Dalit Christians (and Dalit Muslims) in order to eradicate the long standing un-constitutional order and discriminatory practice as promised in the Election Manifesto of TDP. Kindly write a letter on this matter to the Honourable Prime Minister.
  1. Kindly ensure the implementation of GO Ms No.341 by reiterating it with a new GO to continue extending the government schemes and concessions granted to the Scheduled Castes to the Dalit Christians.
  1. Please resume the grant-in-aid to the Church-run Educational Institutions and fill-up the vacant aided teachers' posts as recently directed by the Honourable High Court of A.P. since now the Central Government funds are available for this under SSA.
  1. Kindly remove the heavy burden of property tax levied on the Church-run Educational Institutions which render educational service to the weaker sections unlike the corporate schools.
  1. Please re-constitute State Christian (Minority) Finance Corporation allocating at least 25% of the funds and schemes under the Minority Welfare budget to the Christian Minority.
  1. Kindly give representation to Christians in the legislative and civil bodies; allot nominated posts in the municipalities and corporations; and include them in various panels, commissions and boards, especially those concerning education, health and welfare.
  2. Please allocate government lands and funds for the construction of Christian Bhavans (community halls) in the State capital and district headquarters; and for the churches Christian burial grounds wherever needed.
  1. Kindly make of our services and resources on the pattern of PPP model, to establish new educational institutions, heath care centers, welfare homes / hostels in the backward areas for the Dalits and Tribals.
  1. Please declare New Year Day (1st of January) as a public day as many people visit Churches, Mosques and Temples to offer prayers on that.

The Archbishops / Bishops of the FTC and its member Churches assure your Government wholehearted support and cooperation in the development of Swarnandhra Pradesh full of prosperity, peace and harmony. On this occasion of Christmas, we offer special prayers for your health and for success in all your undertakings in the coming year. Thank you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Federation of Telugu Churches in A.P.

 

Rt. Rev. Dr. G. Dyvasirvadam               Rt. Rev. Dr. F. Paradeshi Babu                        Most Rev. Dr. Gali Bali

CSI Moderator – Bishop in K-G      AELC Moderator Bishop in Guntur          RC Bishop of Guntur

President of FTC                            Vice-President of FTC                               General Secretary

 

 

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