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"Religious Freedom is the First Freedom": Here's Who President Trump Picked for Religious Freedom Ambassador

Gary Lane : Jul 27, 2017  CBN News

If confirmed by the Senate, he'll run the State Department's office which promotes religious freedom through foreign policy.

airlift(Washington, DC)—[CBN News] President Trump is nominating Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as the ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom. (Photo: Gov. Sam Brownback/via LifeNews.com)

If confirmed by the Senate, he'll run the State Department's office which promotes religious freedom through foreign policy.

He and his staff would be charged with investigating religious freedom violations around the world. He would then submit a report to inform the president about those violations.

Brownback tweeted: "Religious freedom is the first freedom. The choice of what you do with your own soul. I am honored to serve such an important cause."

He was elected the 46th Governor of Kansas in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Prior to serving as governor, Brownback served as a U.S. senator from 1996-2011.

The Republican was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives during the Republican Revolution of 1994 when "The Contract With America" was signed by G.O.P. candidates for Congress. It led to the party's control of Congress after the election.

Brownback, along with the late Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA, former Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, and religious freedom lawyer Nina Shea, were among those instrumental in pushing the passage of The International Religious Freedom Act through the U.S. Congress. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October 1998.

The law established the office of Special Adviser on International Religious Freedom within the National Security Council, and a bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. That commission submits an annual report on global international religious freedom which identifies countries that are hot spots of religious persecution.

The law requires the U.S. government to take action against religious freedom violators. The president is given some flexibility on the actions he must take and the punishment choices range from public ostracism to economic sanctions.

The 1998 Act also established the position of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom within the U.S. State Department.

Traditionally the ambassador reports to the Secretary of State. It's unclear if President Trump will change that practice and require Brownback to report directly to him.







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