Capital Briefs

IRS has a dept. that monitors sermons

The Becket Fund’s Executive Director, Kristina Arriaga, released the following message:

Within the IRS, there is, no lie, a “Political Activities Referral Committee” unit that investigates whether preachers have said something from the pulpit in violation of the IRS rules regarding preaching. It even has an acronym: “PARC.”

How do I know this?


Because, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation—a lawsuit where we, the Becket Fund, intervened–the IRS sent FFRF documents to reassure the activist atheist group that they were really working hard on being very diligent in their monitoring of preachers. The public only knows about this because of the Becket Fund’s intervention, forcing these documents to become part of the public record.

Of course, the IRS rules on this matter are not very clear, so who knows exactly what the PARC unit really monitors or how.

The official IRS letter, which I link here, states: “With regard to these referrals that concern violations by churches, the PARC has determined that as of June 23, 2014, 99 churches merit a high priority examination. Of these 99 churches, the number of churches alleged to have violated the prohibition during 2010 is 15, during 2011 is 18, during 2012 is 65, and during 2013 is one.”

Read more here.

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