U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 10, 2020

§ 19.4 - Explicitly religious activities.

(a) Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from DHS to participate in or administer any social service program may not use direct Federal financial assistance that it receives (including through a prime or sub-award) to support or engage in any explicitly religious activities (including activities that involve overt religious content such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization) or in any other manner prohibited by law.

(b) Organizations receiving direct financial assistance from DHS for social service programs are free to engage in explicitly religious activities, but such activities must be

(1) Clearly distinct from programs specifically supported by direct federal assistance;

(2) Offered separately, in time or location, from the programs, activities, or services specifically supported by direct DHS financial assistance pursuant to DHS social service programs; and

(3) Voluntary for the beneficiaries of the programs, activities, or services specifically supported by direct DHS financial assistance pursuant to DHS social service programs.

(c) All organizations that participate in DHS social service programs, including religious organizations, must carry out eligible activities in accordance with all program requirements and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of DHS-supported activities, including those prohibiting the use of direct financial assistance from DHS to engage in explicitly religious activities. No grant document, agreement, covenant, memorandum of understanding, or policy issued by DHS or a State or local government in administering financial assistance from DHS shall disqualify a religious organization from participating in DHS's social service programs because such organization is motivated or influenced by religious faith to provide social services or because of its religious character or affiliation.

(d) The use of indirect Federal financial assistance is not subject to the restriction in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section.

(e) Nothing in this part restricts DHS's authority under applicable federal law to fund activities, such as the provision of chaplaincy services, that can be directly funded by the Government consistent with the Establishment Clause.