Trump vows to 'destroy' law limiting political activity by churches

Trump vows to 'destroy' law limiting political activity by churches
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President Trump on Thursday vowed to "destroy" the Johnson Amendment, which prevents religious groups and churches from engaging in political activities.

"I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution," the president said Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast.

"I will do that, remember."

The president added that freedom of a religion is a "sacred right," but that it is also "under threat."

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"And the world is under serious, serious threat, in so many different ways and I've never seen it so much and so openly," he said.

"The world is in trouble, we're going to straighten is out."

The Johnson Amendment prohibits churches and other tax-exempt organizations from endorsing political candidates. Repealing the amendment would allow religious organizations to engage in partisan political activities without losing their tax exemption status.

Repealing the law has long been a top cause of religious conservatives, who strongly backed Trump's White House bid.

During the presidential campaign, Trump also vowed to repeal the Johnson Amendment. 

“The first thing we have to do is give our churches their voice back,” Trump said during a campaign event in September. 
 
“The Johnson Amendment has blocked our pastors from speaking their minds from their own pulpit. If they want to talk about Christianity, if they want to preach or talk about politics, they’re unable to do so, they take a tremendous risk that they’ll lose their of their tax-exempt status.”