GUNTUR: The State government has enhanced financial assistance for Christians, who go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, from `20,000 to `40,000 per person. Further, it has increased financial aid for construction of churches from the present `one lakh to `three lakh. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu made the announcement and handed over copies of government order to the Bible Mission organiser J Samuel Raj and other Christian elders during the Christmas celebrations organised at Swasthi Sala in Pedakakani, Guntur district on Sunday.
Naidu also participated in mass prayers held on the occasion and read out a stanza from the Bible presented to him. Later addressing the audience, he said Jesus Christ was born to spread love, peace and affection among the people and showed the right path to humanity through his life. He appealed to the people to try and spread peace for the welfare of mankind.
Elaborating on the welfare measures launched by his government, the CM pointed out that AP had been facing a severe financial crisis ever since the State was divided in 2014. “But we never compromised on welfare activities, especially those meant to help the poor and the downtrodden. Despite financial constraints, the state government has allocated `57 crore for the upliftment of the Christian community and sanctioned another `13 crore for the welfare of the Christian poor,” he said.
Naidu also recalled that the state government had distributed essential commodities worth `334 crore through the Chandranna Kanuka to the people across the state.
“The government is already taking care of the Christian community’s assets in the State. We will soon submit a proposal to the Railway Ministry to arrange a special train to stop at Padakakani Swasthi Sala and also provide special buses on Monday and Saturday. Priority will be given to sanction funds for churches online,” he promised.