The group International Christian Concern is looking forward to the new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
President Trump has announced the appointment of Kansas Governor and former U.S. Senator Sam Brownback to the position. "Religious freedom is such a hallmark of a forward-thinking nation," Brownback told WORLD magazine soon after the appointment was announced. "I don't think we've figured out yet the right way to pursue it internationally."
International Christian Concern is delighted with the appointment of Brownback who, while serving in the Senate, was a strong ally of groups that deal with persecution. ICC's Isaac Six says the governor – who helped pass the International Religious Freedom Act that created the ambassador-at-large position in 1998 – will be more than just a figurehead.
"... He's also going to be the main interlocutor with foreign governments when it comes to our negotiation and promoting U.S. values and universal values overseas," says Six. "So he will be the one who will be shaking hands and will need to really speak the truth [with] power.
"He'll have to speak to these foreign governments and convey when we're upset by the arrest of Christians or other religious minorities and really kind of push them on these issues."
Brownback has been governor of Kansas since 2011. He represented the state in the U.S. Senate from 1996-2011.
Six says while religious freedom is a core tenet of American values, it's also a universal one that needs to be promoted worldwide.
"... In countries where there is religious freedom you see more social stability, you see economic growth, you see less terrorism," he tells OneNewsNow. "And so religious freedom really isn't just about religious freedom and being able to worship how you choose, although that's very important; it's also important for society and even, I would say, for the security of the United States."
One of the Senate's strongest proponents of religious freedom, Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), is applauding Brownback's selection. The issue has been a priority for the senator, who in early May encouraged the Trump White House to take a strong stance to protect religious liberty for all Americans – and just weeks earlier urged the president to nominate his own ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Lankford is co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus.