United States

Hundreds of pastors back political candidates, defy tax rules


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Pastor Mark Harris of First Baptist Church stands for a portrait in the sanctuary prior to giving his sermon during the fifth and largest ''Pulpit Freedom Sunday'' in Charlotte, North Carolina October 7, 2012. More than 1,300 pastors across the country climbed to the lectern just weeks before the U.S. presidential and congressional elections, to urge people to vote for or against particular candidates. Such pulpit pleading could endanger a church’s tax-exempt status by violating IRS rules. A charity can take a position on policy issues but cannot act ''on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.'' REUTERS/John Adkisson