IRS Reverses Its Decision to Deny Tax-Exempt Status to Conservative Christian Nonprofit
The Internal Revenue Service has reversed its decision to deny tax-exempt status for a Texas religious nonprofit group it said was too closely aligned with Republican values.
Christians Engaged, an organization that educates and empowers Christians to pray for the nation and elected officials, vote, and be civically engaged, was incorporated in July 2019 as a Texas nonprofit in the category that includes charitable, religious, educational, and scientific groups. It applied for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status later that year.
The organization, which promotes conservative, Biblical points of view on issues including the sanctity of life, the traditional definition of marriage, justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, was originally denied exemption.
“The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican party and candidates,” making Christians Engaged ineligible as a political group, IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin said in a May 18 letter.
After First Liberty Institute filed an appeal on behalf of Christians Engaged, Martin reversed the ruling and granted the tax-exempt status, the religious rights law firm said in a news release.
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Lea Patterson, counsel for First Liberty Institute, said the reversal is “truly great news for our client, as well as religious organizations and churches across America.”
Patterson said the IRS ruling brings the decision “into line with the Constitution and its own regulations.”
Christians Engaged President Bunni Pounds said the organization looks forward to continuing its mission of “educating more followers of Jesus to pray for our nation and to be civically engaged. When we stand up, our republic works for all Americans.”