January 4, 2013
British Parliament Favors Bill to Treat All Churches as Charities
Debate arises after Charity Commission granted charitable status to pagan groups but denied it to a small church.
After the United Kindom's Charity Commission denied charitable status to the Brethren movement, a small isolationist Christian group, members of Parliament have proposed a bill that would aim to treat all churches as charities.
The Charity Commission has previously granted charitable status to several pagan groups in December, the Daily Telegraph reports. Following the subsequent denial of charity status to the Brethren based on the group's doctrine of separation, 53 members of Parliament wrote to the newspaper to call for an investigation of the Charity Commission.
The next day, the Telegraph reported that "around 166 MPs were in support of ... a Bill on the issue." The proposed legislation would treat all churches as charities.
Meanwhile, the Brethren have filed a legal appeal against the Charity Commission. According to the Guardian, their case "hinges on whether the doctrine and practices of the Brethren are compatible with the public benefit requirement of charity law."