Saperstein: New Religious Freedom Ambassador
The Senate last Friday confirmed the nomination of Rabbi David N. Saperstein to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. He will be in charge of countering religious persecution around the world.
The vote was 62 to 35, with all but one of the no votes cast by Republicans.
Saperstein has been director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, lobbying on a wide range of civil rights and social justice issues. His supporters hope the appointment will elevate the importance of religious freedom in American foreign policy.
At a confirmation hearing in September, Saperstein spoke out against religious discrimination in Burma, China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria, among other countries. “Even in Western Europe,” he said, “we are witnessing a steady increase in anti-Semitic discourse and violence against Jewish communities.”
Saperstein will head the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.
We welcome the confirmation of Rabbi Saperstein to this crucial role, and look forward to working together to advance religious freedom around the world.