Several Members of Parliament (MPs) have questioned the Vt50 million budget that the Government has earmarked for the Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC) in the 2021 national budget.
While MPs generally agreed for the money to go towards VCC activities, some MPs question how the funds will be disbursed. They asked for explanations from the Minister responsible for religious affairs and the Minister of Finance.
Some MPs call on the ministry responsible to compile a list of every Churches and Christian ministries in Vanuatu while other MPs said they want to see the Vt50 million shared fairly amongst every Churches and ministries throughout the country.
One MP said the current VCC membership only include the traditional churches whereas today, Christianity is built on many new emerging Churches and Ministries that have a vast number of believers across Vanuatu.
“These new Churches and the ministries spent time praying for this parliament, the government and the nation every day,” Santo rural MP Alfred Maoh, stressed in parliament on Tuesday afternoon.
Opposition Leader and Port Vila MP Ralph Regenvanu, said many Churches run schools and medical services at their own costs and the government must take note of these.
Prime Minister Bob Loughman informed parliament that the government had allocated funds for the VCC and the disbursement of the funds as deemed fit is at VCC’s discretion. The Prime minister said it is the government’s intention to see all Churches, Christian ministries and business organizations work closely with the national government.