The term faith-based is a neologism (coined in the 1970s), mostly current in American English, to describe any organization or government idea or plan based on religious beliefs, specifically Christian beliefs.
The term commonly refers to associated organizations such as Catholic Charities. Such "faith-based organizations" typically deliver a variety of services to the public, such as caring for the infirm and elderly, advocating justice for the oppressed and playing a major role as NGO's in humanitarian aid and international development efforts.
Science and Theology News equates the term faith-based group with "civic associations loosely connected with faith groups", pointing out that such groups have existed in the United States since the Second Great Awakening in the late 18th century.
In the 2000s, the term came into public use in the United States of America as an abbreviation of "faith-based initiative", e.g. U.S. President George W. Bush's proposal to grant religious charitable social-service groups federal money via the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
Examples of U.S. faith-based organizations
Funding for faith-based organizations in the U.S. centers around several signature initiatives including:
- the Compassion Capital fund, an initiative designed to strengthen the role faith-based organizations play in human services;
- Mentoring Children of Prisoners, an initiative focused on supporting the children of incarcerated adults;
- Access to Recovery, which focuses in increasing the availability of drug and alcohol treatment programs;
- the Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative which focuses on helping individuals returning from prison to successfully re-integrate themselves back into society.
In providing these grants to faith-based groups, the Federal Government has also set up a comprehensive set of supports for groups who are interested in applying for these resources.
- Separation of church and state in the United States
- Intentional community
- Salvation Army
- Samaritan Institute
- Volunteers of America
- Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
- “For all their controversy, faith-based groups are nothing new. Since the late 18th century, from a period known as the Second Great Awakening, there have been numerous voluntary civic associations loosely connected with faith groups. They included the Connecticut Missionary Society, formed in 1798, and the American Home Missionary Society, formed in New York in 1826.”[year needed][page needed]
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