Faith-Based Organizations

Despite their internal variety, faith-based organizations (FBOs) have a few things in common: They are voluntary nonprofit associations, based on the principles of one or several faiths, working toward the common good, embedded in civil society, and modeled along the lines of their secular siblings, the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). FBOs (e.g., Feed the Children, Mercy Corps, Habitat for Humanity) are thus distinct from religious organizations that include churches, religious umbrella organizations, or other organized expressions of religious communities.

The rise of FBOs is closely related to the emergence of modern societies and formal organization as one of their defining features. At the same time, they have important historical predecessors harkening back to periods even before modernity. Most parts of the world with a long-standing presence of ...

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