Bank of America Under Fire for Alleged Religious Discrimination

Indigenous Advance Ministries, a Christian charity dedicated to serving impoverished Ugandans, found itself at odds with Bank of America.

The Memphis-based non-profit organization has accused the banking giant of abruptly closing their accounts, leaving them and the people they serve in a precarious situation.

Steve Happ, the founder of Indigenous Advance Ministries, expressed his deep concern over the situation. He emphasized the real-world implications of this abrupt action, stating, “Real people in Uganda rely on us, and they matter.”

“We have five employees in Uganda, and they had to wait an extra week for a paycheck. That may not sound like much in the West, but in Uganda, that can mean a week without eating a full meal.”

The charity, which has been a client of Bank of America since 2015, claims to have had $270,000 in their account before they were ‘debanked.’ This sudden move by the bank not only disrupted the charity’s operations, but also raised questions about the motives behind it.

Indigenous Advance Ministries works closely with local charities in Uganda, such as the Sanyuka Children’s Home in Mukono, providing food, clothing, and care for young orphans in the impoverished country.

The organization’s mission is rooted in its evangelical Christian beliefs, which affirm the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.

The charity has now taken legal action against Bank of America, filing a complaint with the Tennessee Attorney-General’s office. They allege the closure of their accounts was due to their religious views, a claim that Bank of America denied.

The legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing Indigenous Advance Ministries in this case.

Jeremy Tedesco, ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President for Corporate Engagement, expressed his concern over the incident, stating the following:

“No American should have to worry that a financial institution will deny them service based on their religious beliefs, but Bank of America appears to have done just that with Indigenous Advance.”

“Canceling their account hurts those in need. It also sends a disturbing message to everyone—you can have your beliefs or your bank account, but you can’t have both.”

Bank of America, however, defended its actions, stating the closure was related to a part of Indigenous’ operations which includes debt collection. The bank claimed debt collection services are a clear violation of its policies.

However, when asked to share the exact part of its policies that says it doesn’t service debt collection agencies, it was unable to do so.

This incident left many questioning the motives of Bank of America and the impact of its actions on the vulnerable communities served by Indigenous Advance Ministries.

As the legal battle unfolds, one thing is clear – the fight for religious freedom and the rights of non-profit organizations is far from over.

This article appeared in Our Patriot and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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