Mangalore: Christians demand pilgrimage subsidy like Haj, Amarnath Yatra
Mangalore, 17 Jul 2012: Months after Tamil Nadu Government announced financial assistance for Christians wanting to visit the holy land of Jerusalem, Ludhiana-based Christian United Federation (CUF) have sought subsidy for the pilgrimage on the pattern of Haj for Muslims, Amarnath Yatra for Hindus and Shri Nankana Sahib Yatra for Sikhs.
CUF president Albert Dua said they would request the Centre and State governments to provide pilgrimage facilities to Christians to travel to places of religious significance.
Some mechanism must be devised so that poor Christians are able to undertake the pilgrimage at least to Jerusalem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, he said.
Another activist, Augustine John, said they were seeking permission from the government to collect money for the poor Christians and arrange their pilgrimage to the Holy Land. "We want to get our brothers freed from the clutches of the expensive travel agents," Augustine said.
It may be recalled that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in December last announced government financial assistance to Christians for the Holy Land pilgrimage. The scheme will be applicable to all sections of the Christian community. Initially, this assistance will be given to 500 Christians this year,’’ she had said.