Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has just one more hurdle to pass on his way to assuming the position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. On October 26, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee gave its approval of Governor Brownback who now needs only final confirmation from the Senate.
Once confirmed, he will take his position with the Office of International Religious Freedom, whose mission is to monitor religious persecution and discrimination worldwide and to develop programs promoting religious freedom.
This office carries out its mission through the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, which describes conditions in 195 countries throughout the world. Nations guilty of severe religious persecution under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 are subject to economic sanctions by the United States.
If approved, Brownback will have a chore to contend with, because approximately five billion people around the world face restrictions on their religious freedom or beliefs, and an estimated 7,000 of them will be killed for those beliefs in the coming year.
But members of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) have high expectations of Brownback.
“The Ambassador-at Large for International Religious Freedom is a vital post,” said USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark, “and Governor Brownback is an outstanding choice for it. The person who fills this position will be America’s primary voice for the freedom of religion abroad and Governor Brownback has impressive qualifications in this area.”