Churches and Political Lobbying Activities – Freedom From Religion Foundation

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A church is participating in political lobbying. What can I do about it?

Every election year, the Foundation receives complaints and questions by its members and members of the public about churches involved in political activity

Churches and Political Campaign Activity

Churches and other nonprofits are strictly prohibited from engaging in political campaigning. This prohibition stems from the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”).

An organization that qualifies as “tax-exempt” under Section 501(c)(3) is one that devotes its resources to educational, religious, scientific or other charitable activities, and that complies with a number of other rules, including the prohibition on political activity. In exchange for agreeing to fulfill certain public purposes and following the rules for 501(c)(3)s, these organizations do not pay taxes on their income and contributions received by them are tax-deductible by their donors. Churches are recognized as 501(c)(3) organizations, although under the law, they do not have to get specific approval from the IRS to be tax-exempt under 501(c)(3), unlike other charities.

Read more about what the Freedom from Religion Foundation is doing here.

 

 

 

About the Author Karen Garst

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