The Vanuatu Council of Churches chairman, Allan Nafuki, has thanked Prime Minister Charlot Salwai for being the first head of government to make a grant to the country's churches.
Mr Salwai announced during the independence celebrations that the government will give the churches $US92,000 dollars annually.
During the announcement, the prime minister said the churches had always been there to provide social services to the people.
He said the churches had set up the first academic institutions and hospitals.
And Mr Salwai said in times of trouble it is the churches that offer spiritual hope.
Pastor Nafuki said the Council of Churches will make available statements showing how they spend the money.
He said the government does not intend to interfere in the decision making of the churches.