Demand for SC status to Dalit Christians, subsidy to pilgrims to Jerusalem

Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC), the apex body of bishops and Church heads of major Christian denominations in Telugu states, has appealed to political parties to bring pressure on the Central Government to extend scheduled caste (SC) status to Dalit Christians by deleting “the unconstitutional and discriminatory Para 3 of Constitution (Presidential) Order 19 of 1950.”
In a series of demands, put forward ahead of the 2019 polls and signed by Christian interests.” Fr Dr Anthoniraj Thumma and B Danam IAS (Retd), executive secretaries, FTC has insisted that the Prevention of Communal Violence Act and Prevention of Minorities Atrocities Act (in line with the “Prevention of SC ST Atrocities Act) be enacted in the State and Centre in order to “prevent the continuing attacks on the Christians and atrocities on the pastors.”
Seeking strengthening of the Telangana State Christian (Minority) Finance Corporation and allocation of at least 25% of the funds and schemes under the minority welfare budget to Christians, FTC insisted, a scheme should be worked out to provide “subsidy to Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land”.
Other demands include three acres of land to be given to SC Christians and houses to be constructed for Christians and Pastors, like they given to other SC communities; all other SC welfare schemes be implemented for SC Christians; allotment of land and construction of State Christian Bhavan in the Capital City of Hyderabad and Christian Bhavans in every district; continuation of the grant-in-aid to Church-run educational Institutions while filling up vacant aided posts; allocation of government lands for the construction of churches, community halls, education institutions and to Christian burial grounds; and representations to Christians in legislative and civil bodies, administrative panels and in various commissions / boards.
FTC adds, “At least a few Assembly and Lok Sabha seats in the state must be assigned to them. One co-option membership in every Municipality/Corporation must be given to a Christian to take care of Christian interests.”

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