Ambassador Sam Brownback and Commissioner Kristina Arriaga

In this summer of international religious freedom, Matt Hawkins and Travis Wussow visited the State Department to speak with Ambassador Sam Brownback then welcomed Commissioner Kristina Arriaga to the ERLC Leland House. Brownback serves as Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom and Arriaga serves as Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The U.S. officials give an update on Pastor Andrew Brunson, the Christian detained in Turkey. The conversations come as a wrap up to the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Guest Bios

Sam Brownback was sworn in as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom on February 1, 2018. He served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018, U.S. Senator from 1996-2011, and a U.S. Representative in the House of Representatives from 1995-1996 from Kansas. While a member of the Senate, he worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Kristina Arriaga was first appointed to the Commission on May 13, 2016 by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI). Arriaga has worked on the defense of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the United States and internationally for over 20 years as Advisor to the United States delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, an appointee to the Civil Rights Commission, and as the Executive Director of a U.S.-based public interest law firm that defends all religious traditions.

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