The Internal Revenue Service has reversed its decision to deny a Texas-based Christian nonprofit group tax exempt status, according to the Washington Examiner.
The action came after numerous Republican lawmakers rebuked the agency for overt political bias last month after it had first denied the status to Christians Engaged.
"The IRS has granted tax exempt status to Christians Engaged, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers Christians to pray for our nation and elected officials, vote, and be civically engaged," the conservative legal group First Liberty Institute announced in a statement.
"The reversal comes after a national backlash against the IRS's initial rejection of Christians Engaged's nonprofit status because, the IRS claimed, "[B]ible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates."
Lea Patterson, counsel for the First Liberty Institute, applauded the move.
"This is truly great news for our client, as well as religious organizations and churches across America. We are grateful the IRS changed course to bring its decision into line with the Constitution and its own regulations," she said.
Christians Engaged had appealed the IRS' initial ruling with help from the First Liberty Institute.
And a letter of rebuke had been sent by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and signed by 14 other members of Congress. It had asked IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to review the case personally and to fire those involved with the decision.
"We urge you to personally review this determination, and remove the individual, or individuals, responsible for the blatantly biased, discriminatory, and flawed reasoning that led to that determination," the letter said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had blasted the "Biden IRS" for being "politically weaponized" for its decision to deny Christians Engaged 501(c)(3) privileges.
"Sadly following in the footsteps of the Obama IRS, the Biden IRS was likewise politically weaponized when it indefensibly denied tax-exempt status to the Texas nonprofit organization Christians Engaged," he said on Wednesday.
Christians Engaged President Bunni Pounds, reacting to the IRS reversal, said, "I am incredibly thankful to the IRS for doing the right thing, and we look forward to continuing our mission of educating more followers of Jesus to pray for our nation and to be civically engaged. When we stand up, our republic works for all Americans."
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