The Internal Revenue Service is investigating the tax-exempt status of the United Church of Christ for allowing presidential candidate Barack Obama to speak at a denomination conference last June. Obama is a member of the UCC through his Chicago church.
Church officials say the speech was not political and they took steps to avoid any appearance of political activity inside the event.
But in its letter to the denomination, the IRS expressed concerns about articles posted on the church’s website and contended that Obama volunteers were promoting his campaign outside the event. Federal law prohibits tax-exempt organizations from engaging in political campaigns.
In recent years, the IRS has conducted several investigations into the political activities of religious groups.