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Special benefits for religious groups

Diana B. Henriques of The New York Times, with computer analysis by Andy Lehren and research by Donna Anderson, examined the quiet expansion of special benefits for religious groups. "In recent years, many politicians and commentators have cited what they consider a nationwide 'war on religion' that exposes religious organizations to hostility and discrimination. But such organizations - from mainline Presbyterian and Methodist churches to mosques to synagogues to Hindu temples - enjoy an abundance of exemptions from regulations and taxes. And the number is multiplying rapidly." An analysis of legislation passed by Congress since 1989 found more than 200 examples of special considerations for religious groups or their members, plus additional benefits created by court decisions and administrative rules.

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