"The IRS sent us a determination letter than grants tax-exempt status to Christians Engaged," says attorney Lea Patterson of First Liberty Institute, the legal group representing the faith-based organization.
Christians Engaged – which aims to educate and empower everyday Christians to vote, to be civically engaged, as well as to pray for the nation and her elected officials – applied for tax-exempt status in 2019 but the request was rejected. The reason?
The IRS declared – in this May 2021 letter – that Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican Party and its candidates, and concluded that the organization's work is "prohibited political campaign intervention."
At the time, Patterson said she found that explanation personally shocking. "Because the last time I checked, the Bible did predate either [political] party that we presently have," she stated during an interview with One News Now.
First Liberty then wrote an appeal letter to the IRS on behalf of Christians Engaged.
"Our position was that this decision contradicted the IRS's own regulations as well as constitutional protections for free speech and free religious exercise, so we are grateful that the IRS changed course to bring their decision into line with the law," says Patterson.
The First Liberty attorney stated last month that only a "politicized" IRS could view it as threat when Americans pray for their nation, vote in elections, and encourage others in the political process.