This chapter will:

address the following question: Do ‘faith-based’ development organizations have a comparative advantage over secular organizations?;

present a brief discussion of different types of religious organizations involved in welfare, humanitarian and development activities, with a focus on Christianity, Islam and Hinduism;

examine the genesis of the term ‘faith-based organization’ and its entry into development discourse and practice;

investigate the reasons why interest in FBOs within mainstream development policy and practice has increased over the past decade and why the number of FBOs seems to have grown;

assess attempts to define FBOs and classify them in terms of typologies;

outline and critically examine discourses about the ‘distinctiveness’ and ‘comparative advantage’ of FBOs that are currently popular within mainstream development policy and practice.