Australian govt strips church of charitable status for being political
Controversial Melbourne evangelical church Catch the Fire, which solicits donations for the Rise Up Australia Party, has had its charitable status revoked by authorities.
The ministries, based in the south-eastern suburbs, have been run by Sri Lankan-born pastor Daniel Nalliah since the late 1990s.
Mr Nalliah launched the Rise up Australia party in 2013 on an anti-Islam, anti-multiculturalism platform and fielded candidates at last year’s federal election.
He openly preaches his political message from the pulpit and collects donations for the party at church services.
As a registered charity, Catch the Fire had access to Commonwealth tax concessions including GST waivers, income tax exemptions and fringe benefit tax rebates.
But the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) has now revoked its charitable status. Charities are not allowed to promote or fund political candidates.