19 July:The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to create a separate department for Christians on the lines of minorities welfare department.The department will be headed by a principal secretary and look after all issues related to Christians.
State Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy held a meeting on issues of Christian minorities with senior officials on Friday and decided to help community members who want to visit their holy land on the lines of Muslims visiting Mecca.
The issue was pending for a long time. Now, Christians can file applications online and preference will be given to white card holders, said Reddy."They will be allowed to go for the visit in batches and all assistance like Haj pilgrimage will be given," he said. The first batch could leave next month.
The Chief Minister also decided to constitute a separate finance corporation for Christians. The meeting decided to arrange mass marriages for Christian and Muslim minorities. Poor couples will be paid Rs 15,000 towards marriage expenses, it was decided.Courtsey DD NEWS