Gov. Brownback appointed to religious freedom ambassadorship

Gov. Brownback appointed to religious freedom ambassadorship

"Religious freedom is such a hallmark of a forward-thinking nation".

Sam Brownback has been nominated for the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom for the Department of State.

Tom Farr, the president of the Religious Freedom Institute, hailed the choice as "excellent".

The ACLU of Kansas noted in a statement Wednesday that "throughout his tumultuous tenure, Gov. Brownback worked tirelessly to erode the protections that the First Amendment affords for the separation of church and state".

Brownback is the second Kansan to take a post within the Trump administration, following former Congressman Mike Pompeo, who resigned in December to become the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Most notably on his watch, the State Department declared that genocide was taking place against Christians, Yazidis, and Shiite Muslims in Syria and Iraq at the hands of the Islamic State.

Each year, the office releases its report on worldwide religious freedom, defines which countries are "countries of particular concern" under the global Religious Freedom Act of 1998, meets with foreign government officials as well as religious and human rights groups, performs outreach to American religious communities and more.

On Twitter Wednesday, Brownback said he was "honored to serve such an important cause". Here's what you need to know about the position and about Brownback.

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He said Brownback will be the first publicly elected official to hold the ambassadorship, which previously has been held by heads of non-governmental organizations and religious leaders.

Brownback is a former USA senator and representative.

"He has caused enough damage here in Kansas", Witt said in a statement.

Russell Moore also praised Brownback as "an outstanding choice". The post requires Senate confirmation.

During his time in the Senate, the Republican politician chaired foreign relations subcommitees focused on South Asia and the Middle East. "In his time in the United States Senate, religious liberty was one of his top priorities, not only for Christians but for religious minorities around the world", said Gary Bauer, a prominent Christian activist.

In 2008, Brownback introduced a resolution calling for a Jewish cemetery in Lithuania to be protected against planned construction projects, and insisted that it "should not be further desecrated". Religious freedom is an integral plank in a broader human rights platform, and the position is also responsible for conducting outreach to various American religious groups.

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