Because the United States Constitution bars Congress from passing any law infringing upon religion, new religions do not have an official registry. However, the IRS grants tax-exempt status to qualifying organized churches that meet specific guidelines under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.Continue Reading
The first step for setting up a new church in the eyes of the IRS is establishing it as a 501(c)3 organization. According to the IRS website, an organization must operate only for specified exempt purposes and not pay its earnings or profits to private individuals or other shareholders (this does not include salaries, only profits). Because the paperwork is complex and making a mistake could result in a very expensive audit, it is smart to hire a lawyer specializing in setting up tax-exempt organizations before filing this paperwork.
The IRS is guided by special laws regarding religious organizations. For example, the IRS is barred from random audits of churches; instead, high-level treasury officers must reasonably believe that a church is engaging in activities not approved for tax-exempt organizations in order to initiate an audit. They are very aware that some people attempt to use churches as a way to fraudulently profit or avoid taxes. For this reason, churches undergo extra scrutiny that is likely to bring such activity to light.Learn more about Christianity
Christianity is important because it has a prominent role in history, and is one of the world's leading religions. As of 2014, Christianity has the largest numbers of adherents of any religion, with more than two billion people following its teachings. Those teachings are important to those who believe, because among them are the keys to having a deeper relationship with God, as well as living a just and moral life, which will allow them to reach Heaven after death.Full Answer >
The main religions in North America are Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Buddhism. A large number of people in North America classify themselves as "other," which can refer to other forms of Christianity that merge multiple faiths into one.Full Answer >
The Ten Commandments are a set of biblical principles that outline instructions on ethics and worship practices in the Jewish and Christian religions. The Ten Commandments deal with subjects such as adultery, murder, blasphemy, idolatry and dishonesty.Full Answer >
John the Baptist is a major figure in several religions, including Christianity and Islam. He was a wandering preacher who played a major role in the story of Jesus Christ.Full Answer >