Over the past few years, I’ve written again and again about the plight of the persecuted Church around the world. Our brothers and sisters in the faith are facing increasing violence and oppression internationally, especially in the Middle East, where many have been killed at the hands of ISIS. Beyond Christians, the genocide perpetuated by ISIS has also ravaged the Yezidi and Shia Muslim communities.
This is why the State Department’s position of United States Ambassador-at-Large International Religious Freedom position is so important. This ambassador heads the Office of International Religious Freedom, which is charged with promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy.
Last week, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Here at Focus on the Family, we’re thankful that (1) President Trump is filling this position and (2) he’s chosen Gov. Brownback for the job. We’re especially glad that President Trump chose to move so quickly. Previous administrations took much longer to name a nominee.
And we’re not the only ones pleased with the pick.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Executive Director Montserrat Alvarado said Gov. Brownback’s “legacy of promoting and defending religious liberty both in the United States and oversees is strong,” and Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) called Gov. Brownback “an outstanding choice.”
Gov. Brownback responded to the news on Twitter.
“Religious Freedom is the first freedom. The choice of what you do with your own soul,” he tweeted his nomination was made public. “I am honored to serve such an important cause.”
I hope the Senate will confirm Gov. Brownback quickly, so the United States can send the message that religious freedom is a priority for its government.
In the meanwhile, please pray for Gov. Brownback, his wife of 30 years, Mary, and their five children: Abby, Andy, Liz, Mark and Jenna. May God give them peace as they plan and prepare for the changes that are to come.