New Ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

THE APPOINTMENT of a new American Ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom has been welcomed by campaigning groups.

It was last July when the White House nominated Governor Sam Brownback for the role. He had served in the US Senate from 1996-2011.

The chairman of the US Commission on international religious freedom, Daniel Mark, said: “The commission looks forward to working with Ambassador Brownback in advancing the US government’s promotion of international religious freedom”

Commenting that there are immense challenges to religious freedom worldwide, he added that the appointment ‘could not come soon enough’.

The USCIRF added that while in the Senate, Governor Brownback supported religious freedom and human rights for all, serving as co-chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. He was a key sponsor of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act that established USCIRF and the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, which he will now lead.

Earlier this month the State Department named a list of nations it called ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ regarding religious freedoms.

These included: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.