New Hampshire Threatens To Yank Churchs Tax Exempt Status

03.02.11 | Sarah Harnisch

  The New Hampshire government is threatening to take away a church's tax exempt status-- because it's not clean enough. The charges against the Liberty Assembly of God church are definitely unique. A city official in Concord, New Hampshire took aim at the fact that the church was using part of its building to help the homeless, which was deemed "non-religious purposes". Then that official went through the building, room by room, and complained about clutter, a projection screen for worship that didn't have a cover box, and an entire room devoted to storage. Now, the Alliance Defense Fund is protecting the church legally. They said in a statement last week "a church does not cease to be a church when it opens the doors to the less fortunate. The concept of sanctuary has been a strong element of religious tradition from Moses to the New Testament. They also argued "a 'house of public worship' does not have to prove that every square foot of its building is used for a religious purpose in order to receive a full tax exemption. The assumption is that as long as the church is active and offering worship services, then the entire building is tax exempt."