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Trump Picks Sam Brownback as International Religious Freedom Ambassador

Trump Picks Sam Brownback as International Religious Freedom Ambassador

The decision to take someone of his stature - a sitting governor - and put him in a position of this importance is hugely encouraging.

The position was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The office is tasked with monitoring religious persecution and discrimination around the world, and implementing policies and programs to promote religious freedom.

Brownback said in the interview that he plans to use the position to coordinate US government efforts and advance religious freedom with partners overseas. The White House says he worked on the issue of religious freedom while in Washington.

If confirmed, Brownback would follow in the footsteps of previous ambassadors-at-large David Saperstein and Suzan Johnson Cook in the State Department post.

The White House announced the appointment Wednesday evening.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a doctor from suburban Kansas City who previously served in the State Legislature, is expected to take over as Governor if Brownback's nomination is confirmed by the Senate, the New York Times reported.

"I don't think we've figured out yet the right way to pursue it internationally", Brownback said. Before that, he was a U.S. Senator, from 1996 to 2011.

"It's bad enough you ruined Kansas, now you are going after heaven", another Twitter user gwheezie wrote.

Brownback converted to Catholicism in 2002, after years of being a mainline Protestant and then an evangelical.

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Brownback, 60, has served as the governor of Kansas since he was elected in 2010 following a failed presidential bid. He served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"Governor Brownback is unsuited to represent American values of freedom, liberty and justice whether at home or overseas", Witt said. The senator introduced resolutions or bills defending human rights overseas and shining a light on human rights abusers.

Identify and denounce regimes that are severe persecutors on the basis of religious belief.

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".

He and Moore both called for the Senate to swiftly confirm Brownback.

Wolf said he and Brownback were the first two members of Congress to go to Darfur, Sudan, during the genocide there, and when they came back they pushed to have the USA recognize the violence there as a genocide. Brownback introduced a concurrent resolution in the Senate declaring that genocide was taking place there.

What does the ambassador-at-large for worldwide religious freedom do?

But Tom Witt, executive director of the LGBT-rights group Equality Kansas, decried Brownback's nomination because of his conservative views on issues such as same-sex marriage.


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