Sam Brownback: 3 Things to Know About the New Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom
Sam Brownback, governor of Kansas, has just been confirmed by the Senate as the new Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. At Open Doors, we’re so encouraged by this important news. As the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities continues to rise around the world, it is crucial to have a strong leader speaking out on their behalf and influencing U.S. foreign policy on this topic.
We’re so grateful for your voice on this issue! Your prayers and advocacy have led to this moment.
Here are three things to know about the new Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom:
1. Brownback has a history of championing religious freedom around the globe.
Previously, as a member of the Senate and co-chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Brownback worked tirelessly to improve international religious freedom in countries around the world. During his days in the Senate, Brownback described religious freedom as the “the choice of what you do with your own soul.”
In 1998 he was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act, which was foundational in creating the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. State Department—which he will now lead in his new capacity as ambassador at large for international religious freedom. During his time in the Senate, Brownback also traveled to Sudan, speaking out against the bombing of civilians, and introduced legislation to counter the horrific lack of human rights in North Korea.
2. With persecution on the rise, an ambassador at large for international religious freedom is needed now more than ever before.
The release of the 2018 Open Doors World Watch List depicts a continuing rise in the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities around the world. This creates a need for the core principles of international religious freedom to inform U.S. foreign policy at the highest levels. As we look at the situation for Christians and other religious minorities across the Nineveh Plain in Iraq, as well as in persecution hotspots like North Korea and Nigeria, it is vital to have a voice in the U.S. State Department addressing this issue.
3. Much work still lies ahead.
Due to recent legislative changes, as ambassador at large for international religious freedom, Brownback will have increased influence within this role. Working closely with the Secretary of State and others at the U.S. State Department, Brownback will have an incredible opportunity to influence foreign policy on this crucial issue—at a time when it’s needed the most.
At Open Doors USA, we will continue to work closely with the Office for International Religious Freedom at the U.S. State Department and welcome the opportunity to work closely with the newly confirmed Ambassador Brownback. Because the work ahead of us is still great.