World / Offbeat

U.S. agency designates Satanic Temple a tax-exempt church

AP

The Satanic Temple has been designated a church by the Internal Revenue Service.

The Salem, Massachusetts-based organization provided The Associated Press with a notice it recently received communicating its new tax-exempt status. The letter used a code that classifies it as a “church or a convention or association of churches.”

The group is now listed in an IRS database for tax-exempt organizations. An email seeking comment was sent to the IRS.

The group says the designation will help in religious discrimination legal cases and allow it to pursue faith-based government grants.

The “nontheistic” group advocates for a stricter separation of church and state. It placed a statue of the goat-headed creature Baphomet at the Arkansas State Capitol last year to call for the removal of a Ten Commandments monument.