US President, Donald Trump has vowed to destroy US IRS rule that indicates pastors who endorse political candidates from the pulpit risk losing their tax-exempt status.
Trump, at the National Prayer Breakfast, a high-profile event bringing together faith leaders, politicians and dignitaries made this statement while declaring that U.S. religious freedom is "under threat."
“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,” President Trump says.
The rule had been in place since 1954 by then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas.
Johnson served as the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969, assuming the office after serving as the 37th Vice President of the United States under President John F. Kennedy.
American conservatives have argued that the rule violates the protections of free speech and free exercise that the First Amendment extends to houses of worship.
Hence, President Trump has vowed to get rid of the rule and this has delighted religious leaders.
Many clerics, Muslims and Christians alike in other countries like Nigeria are happy with the latest development as it will help break long held believe that clerics are not expected to dabble into politics.
Over the years, many people have criticized pastors and religious leaders over their interference in politics.
Consequently, Trump's latest action can be related to the recent corporate governance code issued by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) which caused the exit of Pastor Enoch Adeboye as the national overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
Hence, aftermath of his retirement Adeboye told his church members to join any political party of their choice.