The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) denied a Christian non-profit organization tax-exempt status because “the Bible’s teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican Party and candidates.” The group, which is called Christians Engaged, is fighting the decision.
According to its website, the organization “exists to awaken, motivate, educate, and empower ordinary believers in Jesus Christ to PRAY for our nation and elected officials regularly, VOTE in every election to impact our culture, and ENGAGE our hearts in some form of POLITICAL EDUCATION OR ACTIVISM for the furtherance of our nations.”
The group offers educational materials and encourages Christians to vote. It holds seminars and classes to show people how to get involved in the political process and provides a forum for people to converse on the issues of the day.
Breitbart News reported:
The non-profit first applied to become a 501 (c)(3) in late 2019. They received a rejection letter on May 18, 2021, from Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin saying the group “engage[s] in prohibited political campaign intervention” and “operate[s] for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican] party.”
Martin laid out his reasons for the rejection in a letter to the organization. In the letter, he argued:
Specifically, you educate Christians on what the Bible says in areas where they can be instrumental including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations. The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican Party] and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).
The First Liberty Institute, a non-profit legal organization that focuses on religious liberty, is representing Christians Engaged. They sent an appeal letter to the IRS, stating that its decision is a violation of the First Amendment.
“From its religious perspective, Christians Engaged provides nonpartisan religious and civic education, focusing on encouraging and educating Christians to be civically engaged as a part of their religious practice,” according to the First Liberty Institute.
Lea Patterson, the attorney representing Christians Engaged, indicated that this particular decision
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