Calgary church loses charitable status for its "non-partisan political activities"
By CHARLES LEWIS - NATIONAL POST
Added: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to rod-the-farmer for the link.
A Calgary church has lost its charitable status in part because it spends too much of its time advocating on social issues such as abortion and marriage.
In October, the Kings Glory Fellowship Association, a non-denominational Protestant group, was told by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that for several reasons, including a lack of clarity on how it spends it money, they could no longer issue charitable receipts.
But the letter highlighted that the group spent more than 10% of its time on ânon-partisan political activities and therefore strayed into activities âoutside its stated purpose.â
âWe note ... the members of the Board of Directors espouse strong negative vies about sensitive and controversial issues, which may also be viewed as political, such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc.â
The CRA allows charitable organizations to spend some time on âpolitical activities,â but the cutoff is 10%. A spokesman for the CRA was not immediately available to explain how the percentage of time a group spends on non-charitable works is determined.
Artur Pawlowski, the head of the Kings Glory Fellowship, said his group âhas nothing to do with politics and we do not advertise for a party or a candidate. The only political activity you can connect us to is defending our right to speak.â
Mr. Pawlowski said the primary mission of his church is to feed homeless people. He said this group supplies food for about 150,000 a year, mainly to people âthat no one else wants to deal with.â
âWhen we feed people we donât care whether they are homosexuals or have had abortions or been divorced but we preach what the Bible says about those issues.â
He said the financial issues are just a âsmoke screenâ and the real agenda is to âkeep us quiet.â Mr. Pawlowski also noted that his church has never been audited by the CRA.
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