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Christian Organisation Loses Charity Status

Catch The Fire Ministries, led by controversial preacher Daniel Nalliah, has had its charitable status revoked allegedly for “speaking on political issues”.

The ACNC recently announced the revocation, following a compliance investigation into the Victorian-based organisation’s activities and operations. The regulator is prevented from disclosing the reason for its decision, due to secrecy provisions in the ACNC Act, but Pastor Nalliah told Pro Bono News it related to the organisation’s political views.

“We have been an organisation from 1998, speaking on political issues right throughout,” Nalliah said.

“And then in 2014, January, incidentally a law was passed in Federal Parliament prohibiting charities from being involved in political activities or having a political view, which we had no clue about.

The Charities Act 2013, which came into effect 1 January 2014, for the first time provided statutory definitions of “charity” and “charitable purpose”. Under the act, a charity cannot have a “disqualifying purpose”, which includes promoting or opposing a political party or a candidate. Any political advocacy or campaigning by a charity must also be a legitimate and effective way of furthering its charitable purposes.

To read the full Pro Bono article, click here.

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