Form a commission to restore Churches ruined during Portuguese rule in Goa: Savio Rodrigues

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Panaji:  Goa BJP leader Savio Rodrigues met Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai demanding initiation of a study before forming a commission to restore the Churches which were ruined during Portuguese time in the state.

Rodrigues, who is also party’s Goa spokesman, hailed the scheme introduced by Goa government for restoration of temples demolished during the Portuguese time. Goa government has sanctioned Rs 20 crore for the purpose.

“In keeping with the intent of the Government of Goa to preserve our heritage, it is my earnest appeal for the Centre and State to consider setting up a fund under a government scheme for the restoration of heritage Catholic Churches in Goa,” reads the memorandum submitted by Rodrigues to the Governor.

He said that the  Catholic Churches are a wonderful tourist attraction not only for people from the Christian community but also people from different religious communities that marvel at its history, its spiritual essence and its architectural prowess.

“Some of the churches like The Velim Church. Church of Our Lady of Rosary, Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Three Kings Chapel and many more are monumental wonders that must be preserved,” he added.

Rodrigues said that the government can initiate a study before commissioning a fund for its restoration or renovation of heritage Catholic Churches in Goa.

The BJP leader said that not only temples but there were also Churches and Convents run by the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans, Carmelites and native Goan Churches that were confiscated by the Portuguese rule and left to ruin.

“I must commend the sincere efforts put in by the Centre and the State for the renovation and restoration of Bom Jesus Basilica at Old Goa so far. It is my humble suggestion that the government extend its efforts towards other Catholic Churches also that have historical, cultural and religious significance for Goa and its people,” he said.

Rodrigues pointed out that  the Christian community is an important stakeholder in the democracy of India. Goa is a state with a large Christian population, who have contributed immensely to the evolution of Goa and India as a global brand.

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