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For Immediate Release
May 16, 2013

Contact:
Kenneth Chan
703-331-4520
press@nrb.org

 

 

 

IRS Should Respect Religious Freedom

Manassas, VA – In light of revelations of suspicious IRS scrutiny of religious ministries, NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright has encouraged Congressional leaders to stand up for the constitutional rights of churches and non-profit religious organizations.  

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Family Talk Action, and Samaritan’s Purse, all NRB member organizations, have reported suspicious questioning from IRS agents.  
 
"Pernicious targeting of faith-based organizations by any state actor must not be tolerated," Dr. Wright wrote. 

Earlier this year, the NRB Board of Directors unanimously approved a Resolution urging Congress to be wary of “IRS rules that would negatively impact religious non-profit organizations, or which would create entangling, or oppressive oversight from the government, or that would impair the constitutional autonomy of religious organizations or churches.”  
 
"These IRS cases before the nation today appear to be just such entangling, oppressive, and constitutionally unsound situations that must be protected against," remarked Dr. Wright.
 
The full text of these letters to House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is included below:
 
        Dear Speaker Boehner,
 
        As President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), I write with great
        concern over the recent revelations by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that its agents
        specifically targeted conservative organizations. My initial shock was re-doubled when I
        learned that three NRB member organizations, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association,
        Family Talk Action, and Samaritan’s Purse, were also suspiciously questioned. These
        ministries have stood as shining examples for many years serving the physical, educational,
 
       and spiritual needs of people near and abroad.  
 
        Earlier this year the NRB Board of Directors, consisting of nearly 100 prominent leaders
        in the world of Christian media, unanimously approved a Resolution urging Congress to be
        wary of  “IRS rules that would negatively impact religious non-profit organizations, or which
        would create entangling, or oppressive oversight from the government, or that would impair
        the constitutional autonomy of religious organizations or churches.” These IRS cases before
        the nation today appear to be just such entangling, oppressive, and constitutionally unsound
        situations that must be protected against.
 
        As Congress investigates these incidents at the IRS, and others that may surface in the days
        ahead, I ask that you emphasize the First Amendment rights of non-profit religious
        organizations and churches, which gives them constitutional authority to operate free from
        government entanglement. Pernicious targeting of faith-based organizations by any state
        actor must not be tolerated.  
 
        Thank you for your consideration and your leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.
 
        Respectfully,
 
        Frank Wright, Ph.D.
        President & CEO


About NRB The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.

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