Last week, the US Senate confirmed Sam Brownback as America’s next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. The appointment came six months after President Trump had nominated the former Kansas Republican governor.
Brown’s position is part of the Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF), a State Department office which monitors persecution and discrimination on a global scale. Created during the Clinton administration in 1998, the IRF exists as part of a larger American foreign policy strategy of promoting international religious freedom.
“It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Melissa Rogers, who previously served as the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the Obama administration. “We find that when societies embrace religious liberty for all, they reap all kinds of benefits like building a more peaceful, just, stable, and more productive society. It makes the world a more peaceful and productive place.”
Rogers joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the US strategies for advocating for religious freedom, why Western Christians’ speaking up for religious minorities in their own nation helps the persecuted church overseas, and if this office is just another way America imposes its values on other countries.