Bank Allegedly Closes Religious-freedom Group’s Account and Demands Donor List to Reinstate It



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JPMorgan Chase Bank recently closed the account of the National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF) without explanation, then offered to reinstate the account if the nonprofit would provide it with lists of its donors and endorsed political candidates, claims NCRF chairman Sam Brownback.

NCRF exists to protect religious freedom “by providing a critically needed political response to the ongoing attacks, in law and culture, on America’s First Freedom,” Brownback, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, said in a January press release announcing the group’s formation.

Needing a place to store the NCRF’s funds, Brownback and the organization’s executive director “went into a Chase branch in the District of Columbia to open an account, no problem,” Brownback told Fox Business. “Then, several weeks later, I went to put another deposit in the account, and they said, ‘Your account has been canceled, we’ll be sending your money back to you.’”

In a September 27 letter to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Brownback wrote that the NCRF also received a letter “notifying us that Chase had decided to ‘end their relationship’ with the [NCRF] and that our account would be closed.”

According to Brownback, when the NCRF’s executive director called the bank about the matter, “the people said the decision was made at the corporate level, it’s secret, we’re not going to tell you why, and it’s irrevocable.”

“We were just stunned.”

The sudden, unexplained closure of the account was bad enough, but the story gets worse, at least in Brownback’s telling. In his letter, the NCRF chairman alleged that “someone from Chase eventually reached out to our Executive Director and informed him that Chase would be willing to reconsider doing business with the NCRF if we would provide our donor list, a list of political candidates we intended to support, and a full explanation of the criteria by which we would endorse and support those candidates.”

“Does Chase ask every customer what politicians they support and why before deciding whether or not to accept them as a customer?” he continued. “Are the same standards and scrutiny applied across the board to all non-profit organizations?”

Chase, for its part, isn’t commenting on the reason for the account’s closure. A spokesperson did, however, assure Fox Business that “we have never and would never exit a client relationship due to their political or religious affiliation.”

Brownback isn’t so sure. Although he wouldn’t speculate on Chase’s reasons for shuttering the NCRF’s account, he told Fox Business that he’s learned of similar things happening to other organizations, most of them conservative.

“We’ve just heard of way too many groups and entities, particularly religious-associated ones, that have been canceled by their providers,” he said. “And we want to start seeing some of these cases investigated.”

Indeed, Big Tech, Big Finance (including JPMorgan Chase), and Big Medicine have all been pushing for the cancellation — or even the prosecution — of dissenters from the “woke” zeitgeist. It would hardly come as a shock to learn that Chase did so in the case of the NCRF.

“I’ve done this work [on religious freedom] internationally for a long time,” Brownback told Fox Business. “Then I come back into the U.S., and I’m seeing this growing level of exclusion of people of faith, of putting them on the outside, and it really concerns me.”

“Any ground you lose on religious freedom here gets magnified around the world because everybody watches what we do,” he averred.

Brownback put Dimon on notice that his experience with Chase has led the NCRF to launch a project “to identify other organizations which have faced similar treatment on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs.” The group has already begun the campaign with the hashtag #ChasedAway. They also plan to petition state attorneys general to get involved, Brownback told Fox Business.

Noting that Dimon recently told the Senate Banking Committee that “freedom of religion” was one of America’s “core values,” Brownback asked him, “Do you, and the bank you lead, truly respect religious freedom as a core value that binds all Americans? The recent actions of Chase Bank would seem to suggest otherwise.”

Dimon has not yet replied to Brownback’s letter, the former ambassador said.