Saturday, September 30, 2023

CC supports the investigation of irregularities in the reporting of tithes and offerings from the Casa de Dios

The Constitutional Court (CC) rejected an appeal presented by the church of Casa de Dios, which sought to stop the investigation carried out by the Public Ministry (MP) and Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) due to discrepancies found in the reporting in tithes. and offerings to that religious congregation.

Casa de Dios seeks to declare “illegal” the procedure of the SAT which, at the request of the MP, conducted an audit of the donations given to the church. The congregation considers that this action violates and threatens the freedom of religion established in article 36 of the Political Constitution. “The standard that offerings and tithes must have a receipt that supports their receipt or no legal support, violates and threatens the right to freedom of religion recognized in Article 36 of the Constitution,” he said.

“The content of the act of two thousand six hundred and three dashes two thousand twenty (2603-2020) violates the freedom of religion, because it specifically limits the offerings of the faithful and the tithe given without knowing who did it, claiming they lacked documentation. legal support, so they should not be accepted, thus limiting the use of said religious practice,” added the church in its claim.

Regarding the work claimed by the Christian church, the SAT says that no arbitrary work has been done. “No action or procedure is dictated arbitrarily, because it operates within the established legal framework and within its powers.” For his part, the MP stated that the action taken does not limit the use of religious practice and, therefore, does not violate the freedom of religion.

The CC denied the church’s appeal

With the inhibition of Dina Ochoa and Luis Rosales, some of their colleagues decided that it was not wise to give the appeal to the church, therefore, they continued the process of auditing the tithes and offerings of the Casa de Dios.

“The protection will not survive if the applicant fails to comply with the assumptions of the viability of the said guarantee, which is mandatory, so that, without one or more of them, knowledge of the background of the procedure will be impossible,” it was resolved.

The resolution was signed by Héctor Hugo Pérez Aguilera, Leyla Lemus, Roberto Molina Barreto, Luis Rosales and Angélica Vásquez.

Another investigation at Casa de Dios

In March of this year, the CC heard another legal action and decided to grant protection in favor of the religious congregation, due to the investigation of alleged money laundering known in 2018.

The decision of the CC stops the delivery of information on donations, offerings and tithes from the Casa de Dios entity. The highest court reviewed the appeal requested by the Office of the Prosecutor against Money Laundering against the resolution given by the Third Court of Appeals. That Chamber protected the Casa de Dios and suspended the order so that they report their donations, offerings and tithes.

Learn more details here:

The CC protected the Casa de Dios church in the investigation due to alleged money laundering

On December 5, 2018, the MP confirmed that the institution conducted an analysis of the alleged links between Pastor Cash Luna and Marllory Chacón, “the Queen of the South”, convicted in the United States, revealed by the Univisión network.

At that time, it was announced that the Anti-Money Laundering Prosecutor’s Office will handle the investigation. “It is the prosecutor’s office that will present me during the investigation results to see the type of report, which may involve people if the crime was committed or not committed and then with the greatest pleasure I will do. be reporting,” he explained. the head of the MP himself, Consuelo Porras.

In the same year, the Asset Forfeiture Unit began a process for a flag worth $56,000, given by former Vice President Roxana Baldetti as a donation to the Casa de Dios, to pass in favor of the State. It has been proven to be of illicit origin

In a 2018 statement, the evangelical church rejected the accusations. “We are a church that, since its founding, 22 years ago, has followed the laws of Guatemala. We are registered with the Ministry of the Interior as a legally established church, we comply with our tax obligations before the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT), pay all our taxes,” they said.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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