Human Dignity  Life  Marriage and Family  Religious Liberty  International Religious Freedom

Prioritize the Confirmation of Governor Sam Brownback as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

Ambassador-at-Large for IRF

The American interest in promoting international religious freedom (IRF) is both moral and strategic. As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained in releasing the 2016 IRF report, “Almost 80 percent of the global population live with restrictions on or hostilities to limit their freedom of religion. Where religious freedom is not protected, we know that instability, human rights abuses, and violent extremism have a greater opportunity to take root.”

The appointment of this Ambassador-at-Large is a matter of life and death for persecuted religious minorities. The IRF office promotes religious freedom for all people, of all faiths and those with no faith. The annual IRF report documents abuses by foreign governments, terror groups, and individual actors. The leadership of this office is critical for effective diplomacy. The office was influential in persuading the U.S. to recognize ISIS committed genocide against Christians, Yezidis, and numerous other religious minorities.

Every faith faces persecution somewhere around the globe, including some of the most violent in recent history. The evidence is clear from both government and non-government organizations that victims face arrests, abductions, torture, forced marriages, murder, and rape. The Middle East and North Africa, China, and Sub-Saharan Africa continue to be hostile and unstable regions. The Syrian civil war and ISIS destabilized a region in which the Christian faith began, displacing millions of indigenous Christians and other religious minorities who survive murderous thugs. Chinese government officials bulldoze churches, remove crosses, and sentence pastors prison. Boko Haram targets churches and mosques in Nigeria. Minorities in Sudan are marginalized with charges of apostasy and blasphemy.

The U.S. Senate should prioritize and swiftly confirm Governor Sam Brownback as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Governor Brownback is a qualified candidate and brings with him an abundance of experience necessary to be an effective IRF ambassador. As a former U.S. senator and governor, Brownback would be the highest ranking public official to hold the office. Religious freedom is fragile or shattered for more people in our world than it is stable. In this era, confirmation of such a candidate appropriately raises the profile of IRF as a foreign policy priority.

Related Content

2024 State Policy Agenda

What’s in the 2024 State Policy Agenda?

One of the primary ways the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission fulfills its ministry...

Read More

What’s in the 2024 Public Policy Agenda?

Public policy advocacy is one of the primary ways that the ERLC fulfills its...

Read More

Why Christians should celebrate the International Religious Freedom Act

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), a...

Read More
Lautenberg Amendment

Why the Lautenberg Amendment is needed for persecuted religious minorities

In a world where religious persecution is an unfortunate reality, legal frameworks that offer...

Read More
religious persecution in India

Intensifying religious persecution in India and the U.S. response

Recent reports of intensifying religious persecution in India have exposed the increasingly dire state...

Read More

USCIRF releases 2023 annual report on international religious freedom

On May 1, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its...

Read More