A Project of the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society

In the United States, there are more than 300,000 religious congregations and the vast majority of congregational income comes from individual donations and membership. This membership status sets them apart from other nonprofit organizations since they are less dependant on government and private grant. Recent changes in legislation permitting federal grants to religious institutions have increased the involvement of religious organizations or "faith-based initiatives" in social programs. Some argue that faith-based initiatives show more commitment to their work, while others contend that they do not have the capability to operate social service programs when the vast majority of their resources are devoted to religious activities. Do these programs jeopardize the separation of church and state? Or are they the fresh thinking needed in a statist environment? Can the delivery of development aid be separated from religion and the controversial question of conversion?

Fact Spotlight

U.S. Says Russian NGO Law Does Not Meet Human Rights Commitments

The United States presented to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) January 26 its concerns about Russia’s new law on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on January 10.

[USINFO, January 27, 2006]

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