Last year, U.S. tax dollars restored an early 20th century cathedral in El Salvador, a convent in Guatemala, a Catholic church in Nicaragua and 17th and 18th century colonial chapels in Bolivia.
FFRF sent a letter June 22 to the U.S. State Department, seeking a halt to the practice. “More than $2 million in U.S. federal funding was spent on the preservation of religious institutions, such as minarets, temples, mosques and Christian churches,” noted Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.
FFRF formally asked that the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation no longer make religious sites and buildings eligible for tax-funded restoration.
“The Roman Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest institutions in the world. Let this church pay to restore its own colonial chapels, convents and cathedrals — which, we might add, are a vestige of religious imperialism which caused untold misery, and which Simon Bolivar fought to free people from,” added Co-President Dan Barker.
Contact the State Department:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Assistant Secretary Ann Stock
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
U.S. Department of State, SA-5
2200 C State, N.W.
Washington DC 20522-0500