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Stand Against the Growing Threat of De-banking

Could a church or a ministry near you be in danger of losing access to its financial accounts?

For this Memphis-based church and ministry, it happened so abruptly.

Without warning or explanation, Bank of America sent a letter to Indigenous Advance Ministries to notify them that its accounts were being closed. The ministry provides aid to impoverished orphans, widows, youth, and other at-risk populations in Uganda.

The bank also targeted Servants of Christ church, which partners with the ministry. Bank of America told them they had 30 days to find a new bank and switch, and just a few weeks before an upcoming mission trip.

This sent Indigenous Advance into a logistical nightmare.

The ministry faced serious disruption and couldn’t give much-needed paychecks to their Ugandan employees. It also had to greatly reduce aid to many of its partners in Uganda while it scrambled to find and set up new accounts.

So, what was Bank of America’s reason for sending the ministry into a tailspin? The bank said in its initial notice that it had chosen not to service the ministry’s “business type” anymore. Then, in another letter to Indigenous Advance, the bank said that the ministry no longer aligned with the bank’s “risk tolerance.”

Indigenous Advance is not political, and its primary mission is the same as it’s always been: to spread the Gospel and provide essential help to people in need.  

Unfortunately, this is far from the only instance of a powerful financial institution arbitrarily closing the accounts of conservative and religious customers.

In fact, this is a nationwide trend.

JPMorgan Chase, PayPal, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and others have singled out individuals and organizations for their values and prevented them from accessing basic financial services or closed accounts for vague reasons that could easily mask viewpoint discrimination.

No one should be denied a bank account or payment processing because of their political or religious beliefs.

This should be deeply concerning to every American, no matter what their political or religious beliefs are.

That’s why we were honored to work with allies and the Tennessee legislature to pass a landmark law that will directly prohibit de-banking in the state. Lawmakers were inspired by the work of Indigenous Advance and their poor treatment at the hands of Bank of America.

We’re also bringing together public officials, asset managers, and more to help hold powerful financial institutions accountable for their violations of basic freedom.

You can help fuel this important work by giving a gift today. Your generosity will help mobilize C-suite executives and lawmakers to put a stop to this violation of fundamental freedom.

And due to the generosity of a Ministry Friend, your gift will be combined with a $1 million challenge grant!

It’s time we stood up to institutions wielding their power against the American people.