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End Charitable Status for Advancing Religion, National Secular Org to Advise Finance Committee MPs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – April 23, 2012)

The national organization for church-state separation, the Canadian Secular Alliance, will meet today with two MPs from the Standing Committee on Finance as part of a review of tax incentives related to charities.

The CSA will push its policy to rescind “the advancement of religion” as a sufficient requirement for charitable status.

“We recognize many religious charities perform activities of public benefit like poverty alleviation,” said CSA President Greg Oliver. “Any organization performing genuine charitable acts should be granted tax incentives for those – but only those – activities.”

By law, the promotion of ethics is insufficient to be granted charitable status, unless an organization also worships a deity. “This clear preference for religion amounts to a wealth transfer from the non-religious to the religious,” said Oliver.

Government financial support to religion is increasingly unpopular. In a September 2010 Ipsos Reid poll, 64% of Canadians agreed “religious beliefs promote intolerance, exacerbate ethnic divisions and impede social progress.”

Contact Information
Canadian Secular Alliance
Greg Oliver