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Religious Groups Seek Tax Policies that assist
Low-Income Working Families

Washington, April 15, 2010 -- As millions joined the last-minute frenzy to file federal income taxes Thursday, religious groups urged Congress to craft tax policies to help low-income working families.

In particular, Congress must address a series of tax cuts and tax credits that are set to expire this year, said more than a dozen religious groups, including the National Council of Churches.

The National Council of Churches has repeatedly argued that the struggle to overcome endemic poverty in 21st century America is the moral equivalent of the movement for civil rights in the 20th century,” said Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC General Secretary.

“And crucial to that struggle is a tax policy that provides adequate support and incentives for low-income families and low-wage workers,” Kinnamon said.

A coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups, and major faith-based organizations has developed principles to guide the development of tax legislation that will enable families and individuals to provide for their immediate needs. (See box.) Sound tax policies can help create incentives for saving, so that families can build assets to weather future economic shifts and ultimately move out of poverty, the groups said.

"We can't end hunger in this country through nutrition programs alone. Tax credits give low-income working families the critical resources they need to bridge the gap between what they earn and what they need," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.

The Faith Reflections on Anti-Poverty Tax Policy come in support of Bread for the World’s 2010 Offering of Letters Campaign – in which thousands of churches and people of faith are participating. For more information, see

The National Council of Churches, representing 36 communions and 100,000 congregations, has focused on issues of poverty throughout its history. Among the highlights of the Council’s anti-poverty work are education and worship resources on poverty and faith, available at              

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) ,

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