The Internal Revenue Service has denied a Christian nonprofit group tax-exempt status because “the Bible’s teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican Party and candidates.”
Christians Engaged describes itself as educational, Christian, and non-partisan, and operates out of Garland, Texas. Its three main goals, as described by the non-profit, include: To awaken, motivate, and empower ordinary believers in Jesus Christ to: pray for our nation and our elected officials regularly, vote in every election to impact our culture, and engage our hearts in some forms of political education or activism for the furtherance of our nation.
First Liberty Institute, a religious rights law firm, will represent Christian’s Engaged and has appealed the IRS’s decision.
Christian’s Engaged incorporated in July 2019 as a Texas non-profit corporation “formed exclusively for charitable, religious, educational or scientific purposes.’ From its religious standpoint, Christians Engaged provided nonpartisan religious and civic education, aimed at encouraging and educating Christians to be engaged citizens as part of their religious practice.
Christians Engaged initially applied for tax-exempt status in late 2019.
Christians Engaged professes to “civically engage as part of their religious practice”, but denies being in favour of any political party of candidate. The IRS has pointed to the group’s leadership, which has members that have been heavily involved in Republican political activities in previous years.
The rejection letter also accuses the organization of engaging in “prohibited political campaign intervention” and operating “for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican] party.”