The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has revoked the charitable status of Kings Glory Fellowship (KGF), a Christian church in Calgary. CRA cites a number of issues with KGF’s application, but the decision is based, in part, on the ground that certain KGF Board members have spoken out strongly against abortion, and other moral issues.
“The members of the Board of Directors espouse strong negative views about sensitive and controversial issues, which may also be viewed as political, such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc.,” wrote CRA agent Dian Prodanov in an October 29th letter.
These “political” views make the church ineligible because, according to the agent, a registered charity “may only engage in non-partisan political activities as long as it devotes substantially all (usually 90% or more) of its resources to charitable activities.”
KGF’s pastor, Artur Pawlowski, is also the founder and pastor of Street Church Ministries, which has made headlines because of its battle with the city of Calgary to uphold its right to preach to and serve the city’s poor.
In December, a provincial court judge sided with Pawlowski and SCM, striking down several city infractions against them. Further, the judge found that “the City’s attempts … to limit the scope of the efforts by the accused to minister to his congregants, fall precariously close to being excessive and, to any reasonable observer, an abuse of power.”
Prodanov cited numerous problems with KGF’s application, such as a lack of detail about various expenditures, but Pawlowski called these other reasons “smoke screens.”
“The main point is that they don’t like my opinions about different controversial issues, and I speak about them openly on radio, in paper, and on TV,” he said. “So that’s what happens when you express your views as a pastor.”
“If they take the charity status away from a church, they are hoping that they are going to starve us to death in Canada, and therefore we will not be able to influence anyone,” he continued. “That’s basically what happens. That’s what they want to accomplish. They want to muzzle us up.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa K1A 0A2
Hon. Keith Ashfield
Minister of National Revenue
555 MacKenzie Avenue
Ottawa ON K1A 0L5
Phone: (613) 992-1067
Fax: (613) 996-9955