IRS Reverses Course; Grants Religious Group Tax-Exempt Status

IRS Reverses Course; Grants Religious Group Tax-Exempt Status

After national backlash, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reversed its decision to deny a Texas faith-based organization, Christian Engaged, federal tax-exempt status.

In May, IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin rejected Christian Engaged’s application to become tax-exempt, saying the group’s “Bible teachings” on abortion, marriage and other issues were primarily affiliated with the Republican Party, and therefore disqualified the organization from receiving nonprofit status.

Prominent Christian leaders, like Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and FIRE School of Ministry President Michael Brown, spoke out about the decision, calling it “unconstitutional.”

Religious freedom law firm First Liberty Institute represented Christians Engaged in its appeal, and on July 7, announced that the IRS had done an about-face and had granted the organization tax-exempt status.

“This is truly great news for our client, as well as religious organizations and churches across America,” said Lea Patterson, counsel for First Liberty Institute. “We are grateful the IRS changed course to bring its decision into line with the Constitution and its own regulations.”

Christians Engaged President Bunni Pounds said, “I am incredibly thankful to the IRS for doing the right thing, and we look forward to continuing our 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.”

Photo: B Christopher/Alamy Stock Photo

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