These are programs and services organized, administered, and usually staffed by members of a particular denomination of a religious faith. Educational programs, services, and support for the indigent and the needy have long been provided by many Christian denominations, Jewish temples, and Moslem mosques, and by Hindus and Buddhists. Hospitals evolved from, and some remain institutions staffed by members of, religious orders. The concept became controversial in the United States in 2001, when the administration encouraged faith-based agencies in the health and social services sectors to assume responsibilities for services that had traditionally been secular, although the US Constitution explicitly separates church and state. This policy shift caused concern because some faith-based agencies might proselytize and may not provide needed services, such as advice on contraception or other aspects of human reproduction of which their faith disapproves.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.