International Christian Concern (ICC) is pleased to report that the US Senate has confirmed President Trump's nominee for Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback takes on the post following his nomination last July by the Trump administration.
The Senate vote split on partisan lines (49-49), which meant that Vice President Mike Pence was needed to cast the deciding vote to confirm his nomination.
News of Gov. Brownback's confirmation is welcome for many religious freedom advocates, as this ambassadorship has been vacant for nearly a year while the nomination and confirmation process was completed.
The Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and the International Religious Freedom office as a whole, are responsible for "monitor[ing] religious persecution and discrimination worldwide," in addition to developing programs and executing policies that encourage freedom of religion or belief. This position is crucial in leading the US government's efforts to promote religious freedom around the world, and prioritizing this issue in US foreign policy.
Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma is a leading voice on religious freedom in the Senate. He stated in a press release praising the confirmation, "Confirmation of Sam Brownback as the Ambassador-at-Large sends a message to the world that religious freedom is a priority of the United States government. It is an important first step, but we cannot stop there. Religious freedom must be an integral part of our overall national security and we must use all tools available to condemn acts of religious persecution."
ICC's Advocacy Manager, Nate Lance, said of the vote, "I am very pleased that the Senate has confirmed Gov. Brownback as the next Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. This position plays a critical role in prioritizing religious freedom in US foreign policy, and signifying the US government's solidarity with those who face persecution for their faith or lack thereof. I believe that having a former US senator and governor in this role elevates the position, making the ambassadorship an even more effective advocate for religious minorities. I look forward to working with Governor Brownback to further the cause of freedom of religion or belief around the world."
To read more from International Christian Concern, visit www.persecution.org.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images
Publication date: January 25, 2018