- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Mormon church says it won’t change its longstanding practice of practicing political neutrality despite President Donald Trump’s executive order Thursday aimed at easing an IRS rule limiting political activity for religious organizations.

Eric Hawkins, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christs of Latter-day Saints, said Thursday in a statement that the religion is “always grateful for the efforts of leaders to safeguard religious freedom and protect the beliefs and religious exercise of all people.”

But, he added that the Utah-based religion of nearly 16 million members remains committed to political neutrality.

Trump says he’s giving churches their “voices back,” with the order, but the move that fell far short of a more sweeping order some supporters had expected.

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