THE BOSTON GLOBE
PART 1: CHANGING THE RULES | EXPORTING FAITH
Bush brings faith to foreign aid
As funding rises, Christian groups deliver help -- with a message
President Bush, shown addressing a conference on faith-based initiatives in March, has said he made changes
"on my own." (Doug Mills/ The New York Times)
October 8, 2006
This story is the first of four parts. It was reported and written by Farah Stockman, Michael
Kranish, and Peter S. Canellos of the Globe Staff, and Globe correspondent Kevin Baron.
LAKARTINYA, Kenya -- The herders of this remote mountain village know little about America,
but have learned from those who run a US-funded aid program about the American God.
A Christian God.
The US government has given $10.9 million to Food for the Hungry, a faith-based development
organization, to reach deep into the arid mountains of northern Kenya to provide training in
hygiene, childhood illnesses, and clean water. The group has brought all that, and something else
that increasingly accompanies US-funded aid programs: r regular church service and prayer.
President Bush has almost doubled the percentage of US foreign-aid dollars going to faith-based
groups such as Food for the Hungry, according to a Globe survey of government data. And in
seeking to help such groups obtain more contracts, Bush has systematically eliminated or
weakened rules designed to enforce the separation of church and state.
In Lakartinya, a simple hut built with funds from the US government is the first in the area to have
a tin roof. It serves as a station for weighing babies, distributing food, teaching health classes --
and, until recently, initiating local people into the rites of Christianity, according to Food for the
Hungry staff. Classes begin and end with prayers, and in some cases are followed by Christian