Indigenous Advance Ministries, a Christian charity serving poor Ugandans, has accused Bank of America of closing their account because of their religious views. The organisation, which has been with BofA since 2015, claims they had $270,000 in their accounts before being ‘dbanked’.

According to their website, ministry of indigenous advance Works with local charities including the Sanyuka Children’s Home in Mukono, which feeds, clothes and cares for young orphans in the impoverished country.

In the ‘Core Beliefs’ section of their website, they affirm their evangelical Christian views which include that ‘all human life is sacred… from conception to natural death.’

The Memphis-based nonprofit has now filed a complaint Tennessee The Attorney-General’s Office claims the accounts were closed because of his ‘religious views’, an allegation BofA has denied in a statement.

Image: @JEM_Books/X

Daily Mail reports:

A BofA spokesperson said the shutdown was related to a portion of the indigenous operations, including loan recovery.

On its website, Indigenous said it is ‘dedicated to the collection of overdue invoices on behalf of our customers.’

BofA claimed that the debt collection services were in clear violation of its policies. The bank said it became aware of this part of the charity’s operations only when the new account was opened in January.

However, when BofA was asked to share the exact part of its policies, which states that it does not serve debt collection agencies, but it was unable to do so.

Indigenous Advance Ministries board members Steve Happ and Bob Phillips wrote a letter to the Tennessee Attorney General’s office:

The letter begins, “Being forced to change so quickly has caused us great distress.” “This also disrupted our mission in Uganda in June and we were temporarily unable to pay salaries in Uganda. And we got very confused.”

“Our mission and work, supporting Ugandan children and families through indigenous Ugandan ministries, has remained the same since our inception and first opening our accounts at Bank of America.”

Indigenous are represented by the legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

In a press release, ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President of Corporate Engagement Jeremy Tedesco said of the matter, “No American should be concerned that a financial institution will deny them service based on their religious beliefs, but it appears that Bank of America happens to have done the same to Swadeshi.” advance. Canceling their account hurts the needy. It also sends a troubling message to everyone – you can have your faith or your bank account, but you can’t have both.’

Steve Happ, Founder of Indigenous Advance Ministries shared, “Real people in Uganda trust us, and they matter. We have five employees in Uganda, and they had to wait an extra week for their salaries. That may not sound like much in the West, but in Uganda, it can mean a week without eating a full meal. At the end of the day, we aim to serve those in need in Uganda. No bank should hinder efforts to help widows, orphans and the poor.

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