Indian Catholic News

Andhra Christians oppose state board for Church properties

Heads of Major Christian denominations met Naidu Sept. 12.

 
Hyderabad: 

A delegation of Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC) has met chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and explained why they are opposed to the government move to set up a Board for Church Properties.

The heads of Major Christian denominations in the state submitted a memorandum to Naidu at Vijayawada Sept. 12, an official press release said. The federation is a fourm of all Christian leaders of different churches in the state.

The president of the federation, CSI Moderator Bishop G. Dyvasirvadam of Krishna-Godavari, and its General Secretary Bishop Gali Bali of Guntur, met Naidu.

The Church leaders thanked Naidu for his services to the Christian Minorities and his concern for the protection of Church properties.

The leaders told him that unlike the properties of Wakfs and Hindu Endowments, the properties of the Churches are private in nature as they are bought and owned by the Churches, and registered on their names.

The Churches, dioceses and their institutions are registered Trusts or Societies under the A.P. Registration of Societies Act, and so the laws and regulations of the trust or society already bind them.

The meeting comes in the wake of Andhra Pradesh constituting a Group of Ministers on the protection of Christian Minorities Properties.

The Memorandum made it clear that APFC is opposed to the interference of the government in the administrative affairs of the Churches, dioceses and their institutions including their properties. As Indian citizens, Indian Constitution guarantees the churches the members of the Church to own and manage their own properties.

In his response, the Chief Minister assured that he was aware of the nature of Churches properties and his government would not set up a Board for Church properties.

Rather, he assured to assist the Churches from the alienation and occupation of their lands by holding consultations with the bishops and members of APFC and if necessary, by constituting a committee with them to address the grievances.

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