HYDERABAD — The Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC), a body of bishops and church heads of major Christian denominations in Telugu states, has appealed to political parties to include major demands and issues of the Christian minority in their election manifestos of the forthcoming Telangana Assembly election.
“Bring pressure on the Central Government to extend SC status to the Dalit Christians by deleting the unconstitutional and discriminatory Para 3 of Constitution (Presidential) Order 19 of 1950,” the FTC said in its appeal to political parties contesting the Telangana Assembly election.
The election for 119-member Assembly is going to be held on 7th December. Key parties in the fray are the ruling TRS, its ally AIMIM, Congress, TDP and BJP.
The Christian community also wants “Prevention of Communal Violence Act” and “Prevention of Minorities Atrocities Act” in line with the “Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act” enacted in the state and Centre “in order to prevent the continuing attacks on the Christians and atrocities on the Pastors.”
Besides, they want representations in the legislative and civil bodies, administrative panels and in various commissions / boards.
“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,” FTC said in a statement on Monday.
As per Census 2011, Christians were 1.33% of the total population of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana together.
— Strengthening of Telangana State Christian (Minority) Finance Corporation and allocation of at least 25% of the funds and schemes under Minority Welfare budget to Christians.
— Re-launch of the scheme of providing subsidy to Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
— Three acres of land to be given to SC Christians and houses to be constructed to the Christians and Pastors like they given to other SC communities. Likewise all other SC welfare schemes to be implemented to the SC Christians without fail.
— Allotment of land and construction of State Christian Bhavan in the Capital City of Hyderabad that was promised by the Government is to be realized without further delay. Similarly, Christian Bhavans must be put up in every district.
— Allocation of government lands for the construction of churches, community halls, education institutions and to the Christian burial grounds.