This evening President Trump announced intent to nominate Sam Brownback as the new Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. As Ambassador, Brownback will head the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, dedicated to monitoring religious freedom abuses throughout the world. The position has been vacant for seven months after Rabbi David Saperstein resigned. Religious freedom organizations have since been advocating for an appointment, particularly as international religious freedom has worsened in the breadth and depth of restrictions and violations.
While in Congress, Brownback served as the Senate Co-Chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. He led the effort to enact the Trafficking Victims Protection Act which served as the foundation for the movement to stand against human trafficking. Brownback was actively involved during the crisis in Darfur, traveling to that country and pushing for a genocide declaration.
He introduced legislation on the deplorable human rights conditions in North Korea and travelled to Sudan where he called on the Sudanese government to end its human rights abuses including civilian bombing and slavery. When Brownback was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Sub-Committee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, he was on record as calling religious freedom in the Middle East a top concern. He was recognized as one of only three members to receive a perfect score in the International Religious Freedom Scorecard for the 111th Congress.
“This nomination comes at a crucial time to improve religious freedom worldwide and to give hope to millions persecuted for their beliefs. The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative urges the Senate to swiftly confirm Governor Brownback’s appointment” said EVP Elijah Brown.
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