» 12/06/2014, 00.00
Bangladesh government fund makes generous donation to 26 Christian churches
The Christian Religious Welfare Trust gives US$ 27,500 to finance pastoral works and church renovation. The fund's goal is to contribute to national development by encouraging solidarity and brotherhood among people of different religions. The donation is "big deal for us," says a Catholic priest in a country where Christians are only 0.4 per cent of the population.
(AsiaNews) - The Christian Religious Welfare Trust donated 2.1 million taka (US$
27,500) for pastoral work and renovation to 26 Christian churches in Bangladesh.
a ceremony held last Monday in Dhaka, the contribution is of particular
importance, because it is the work of a government body in a predominantly
Muslim nation where Christians represent 0.4 per cent of the population - 0.1
per cent in the case of Catholics.
2009, the fund is designed to contribute to national development through the
development of its human resources and by encouraging solidarity between people
of different faiths.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Religious Affairs Minister Motiur
Rahman, who also chairs the Christian Religious Welfare Trust, said, "We
want the faithful of all religions to follow their beliefs freely. Through this
fund, we promote religious harmony and brotherhood".
ceremony, the minister also noted that Bangladesh is a secular country and that its
constitution protects religious rights.
he explained, "that if people of all religion can practice their religious
rituals properly, our country will advance with prosperity and peace".
Fr Hubert B.
Rebeiro, 44, is the parish priest at Jhoragopalpur, in the Diocese of Rajshahi.
His church is one of those that received funding.
"I am very
pleased that government gave me financial support for church's activities.
since we are in a predominantly Muslim country, it is a big deal for us," he
Christian Religious Welfare Trust received on an initial grant of 50 million
taka (about US$ 650,000).
Since 2009, it
has helped 91 churches, for a total outlay of 9.5 million taka (US$ 125,000).
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