Andhra Pradesh High Court questions the pro-Christian YSR Congress Government
Amaravati (AP) – The Andhra Pradesh High Court has questioned the salary being paid to Church priests (or Pastors) by the State Government led by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. The High Court asked the Government, ‘Why should the Church priests be paid from the Government treasury ?’ The High Court also stated, ‘Expenditure on religious activity or programme is a different matter and paying salary to a priest is different’.
Vijay Kumar from Vijayawada had filed a public interest litigation in the High Court challenging the State Government’s decision to pay salaries to Christian priests. The High Court has asked the Government to respond in this case. The Andhra Pradesh Government is being asked on social media too as to why are the priests being paid from public money ?
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Mr Vijay Kumar from Vijayawada had filed a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court challenging the State Government’s decision to pay salaries to Christian priests. The High Court has asked the Government to respond in this case. The Andhra Pradesh Government is being asked on social media too as to why are the priests being paid from public money ?
1. While arguing on behalf of Mr Vijay Kumar, Advocate P Shri Raghuram told the Court that the head priests of the temple are paid from donations made by devotees. Imams of mosques are also paid in this way, but the priests in the Churches are being paid directly from the Government treasury.
2. Arguing on behalf of the State Government, Advocate General S Sriram told the Court that the State Government can disburse grants for religious activities under Article 27 of the Constitution.
3. On this the High Court said that expenditure on religious festivals and payment of salary are two different things. Payment of salaries to priests cannot fall under an expense for religious celebrations.
4. There are reports that Christian missionaries in Andhra Pradesh are involved in conversions. Yuvajan Shramika Rithu Congress MP Krishnam Raju had raised his voice against Christian missionaries involved in conversions in Andhra Pradesh. Raju had demanded security from the Centre citing a threat to his life from his own party. Raju had said in June 2020 that missionaries are openly converting people in Andhra Pradesh. Although the number of Christians is said to be 2.5% according to Government statistics, the actual number is not less than 25%.