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Faith and foreign aid

Farah Stockman, Michael Kranish, and Peter S. Canellos of The Boston Globe, with Globe correspondent Kevin Baron, examined the complete database of USAID prime awards from 2001 to 2005, containing more than 52,000 funding actions, to reveal that USAID gave more than $1.7 billion to 159 "faith-based" organizations. The percentage of USAID funds to NGOs that are faith-based doubled from 2001 to 2005, and 98.3% of the faith-based funds go to Christian groups. Bush's orders altered the longstanding practice that groups preach religion in one space and run government programs in another. The administration said religious organizations can conduct services in the same space as they hand out government aid, so long as the services don't take place while the aid is being delivered. The newspaper found many Christian groups are leveraging their proselytizing and missionary activities with US funding - doing the bare minimun, if that, to separate out their church and state functions.

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