IRS Requested Details of Christian Pro-Life Organization’s Prayer Meetings

In the midst of the IRS scandal involving harassment of conservative organizations and auditing the taxes of political activists, pro-life group Coalition for Life of Iowa experienced bureaucratic prying at an even deeper level - their organization’s relationship with God.

“Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood, are considered educational as defined under 501(c)(3),” wrote the IRS in a letter to the CLI. “Please explain in detail the activities at these prayer meetings. Also, please provide the percentage of time your organization spends on prayer groups as compared with the other activities of the organization.”

When Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) asked IRS acting commissioner Steven Miller if the “content of one’s prayers” was an appropriate inquiry for the IRS to make of a 501(c)(3) applicant, Miller replied, “It pains me to say I can’t speak to that one either…speaking outside of this case which I don’t know anything about, it would surprise me that that question was asked.”

The Christian organization thinks that the IRS “repeatedly sought information that is unnecessary and in violation of constitutional principles affecting the Coalition’s supporters.”