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Atheist group asks IRS to investigate Florida church for hosting Trump rally

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The infamous atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation has written a letter to the Internal Revenue Service urging an investigation into a Miami area church's tax exempt status after the church agreed to host a Friday rally for President Donald Trump.

The church, King Jesus International Ministry in West Kendall, is pastored by Guillermo Maldonado. The church was chosen to host a gathering of 70 Christian pastors for the "'Evangelicals for Trump' Coalition Launch," according to Fox News. The event is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. ET.

The selection of the site already caused some controversy, as local Hispanic leaders criticized the predominantly Spanish-speaking congregation for hosting the president, and some expressing concern that any parishioners who are illegal immigrants might be deported if they attended.

Maldonado, for his part, dismissed these criticisms as ridiculous, saying, "I ask you: Do you think I would do something where I would endanger my people? I'm not that dumb... I don't think the president would do such a thing. Don't put your race or your nationality over being a Christian. Be mature ... If you want to come, do it for your pastor. That's a way of supporting me."

In the Freedom From Religion Foundation's letter, they aver that the rally is problematic for another reason. According to the letter, "In urging congregants to come to a political rally, and in hosting the political rally, King Jesus Ministry appears to have inappropriately used its religious organization and 501(c)(3) status by intervening in a political campaign. It violated IRS regulations by seemingly expressing its support for a candidate in the November 2020 presidential election."

The letter concludes, "FFRF respectfully requests that the IRS commence an immediate investigation into King Jesus Ministry's violation of IRS regulations... the IRS should take appropriate action to remedy any violations that occurred or which continue to occur."

The IRS has not yet issued a public response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation's letter.

One last thing…
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