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If I cannot take government money to support religious activity, how do I separate our religious activities from our Federally-funded social service program?


A faith-based organization should take steps to ensure that its inherently religious activities, such as religious worship, instruction, or proselytizations, are separate – in time or location – from the government-funded services that it offers. If, for example, your church receives Federal money to help unemployed people improve their job skills, you may conduct this program in a room in the church hall and still have a Bible study taking place in another room in the same hall (but no Federal money can be used to conduct the Bible study). Or a faith-based social service provider may conduct its programs in the same room that it uses to conduct religious activities, so long as its government-funded services and its religious activities are held at different times.

If you have any questions or doubts about any activity, you should check with the official who administers your Federal funds.

Source: Guidance to Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Partnering with the Federal Government (published by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives 2002)

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Last Updated: 4/28/2008