The UK Telegraph just released a report about a lawsuit the Mormon Church has been engaged in for almost a decade now. The Church took their complaint all the way to the European court on the basis of their human rights being violated and the disagreement ended as of 4 March 2014.
Way back in 2005 the Church received notice from the British government they needed to pony up for the property taxes on their temple in Preston, England.
The Church filed a complaint they were a religious organization and thereby exempt from paying the tax.
The British Courts voted in favor of the government so the Church filed an appeal. The case was then sent to Strasbourg where it was ruled on today that the UK didn’t violate their human rights as claimed by the Church.
British law forbids a full tax exemption status on any organization that doesn’t allow full access to the public. Because the temples exclude everyone but the very elite in the Church, they don’t qualify for the full exemption.
The European Court ruled the Church doesn’t allow everyone in the public access and voted in favor with the British Courts. The article also mentioned the Church still enjoys an 80% discounted rate on the taxes.
The Church is now faced with paying the taxes on the Preston Temple; however, the article was silent as to the status of the London location.
The Church responded by stating;
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints respects the decision of the Strasbourg court, and is grateful that the charitable activities of churches are recognized under UK and European law.”
Yeah, I bet they are.
I have a few questions in light of all this.
Why would the Church use tithe-payers money to fight this?
Why does the Church believe they’re exempt from shouldering some cost of societal living expenses?
Where is the money going if they’re not paying their fair share of taxes?
Clearly, the Church doesn’t appreciate the meaning of human rights violations.
Have they not seen what’s going on in Russia and the Ukraine right now?
What about the Christians who are killed every year because they’re simply living a quiet life and going to church? Eighty Christians died in a suicide bombing in Pakistan in September 2013 all because they confessed Christ and went to church.
What about the civilians who live in Syria and are gassed by their dictator leader al-Assad? Or the poor Christian men who’ve been held hostage for years now – Kenneth Bae in North Korea and Saeed Abadini the pastor in Iran?
The list could go on and on, but the point here is that the people listed above are just a small sample of being the victims of human rights violations. Paying taxes and having any money at all to even pay taxes is a privilege. Loosen up the pocketbook boys and remember what Jesus said;
Mark 12:17; “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”
If you’re living in cities with paved roads and you have clean water to drink consider yourself blessed. The majority of the world lives on an income of less than two dollars a day.