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-Obama Nominates Rabbi for Religious Freedom Ambassador

by Dr. D ~ July 31st, 2014


                               (Rabbi Saperstein:  US Department of Labor)

President Obama has finally gotten around to replacing the United States Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom. Rabbi David Saperstein is the first non-Christian to be nominated for that position which was vacated in October, 2013.

Here’s the story from Christianity Today:

The press statement said:

“Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post: Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein – Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Department of State. President Obama said, "I am grateful that Rabbi Saperstein has chosen to dedicate his talent to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead."”

The previous ambassador at large, African-American pastor Suzan Johnson Cook, stepped down from the position in October 2013. This triggered great political pressure on the Obama administration to name a new ambassador-at-large quickly since religious freedom has been a contested issue in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Previously, Bob Seiple and John Hanford served in the position, which was created in 1998 as part of the International Religious Freedom Act.

<Read the whole article>

Response: I have been very critical of President Obama for allowing this important position to be empty for 10 months at a time in history when some of the greatest abuses of religious freedom have been going on around the world., particularly against Christians.

The recent expulsion of Christians from their traditional stronghold in Mosul and Nineveh in Iraq demonstrated the weakness of the West and particularly the Obama administration in this area since there was very little protest or diplomatic exception taken to the actions of the new so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

It has also been a time that Christian leaders including Pope Francis have referred to as a ‘New Age of Martyrs’ – the worst for  Christianity since the first century. Yet the Obama administration has been flying rainbow flags and sponsoring dinners keynoting LGBT rights around the world in our embassies while thousands of Christians have been dying for their faith, including many in those very same countries.

The nomination of Rabbi Saperstein is welcomed for many different reasons. He has been a champion for religious freedom his entire career and it is also a time when anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head particularly in Europe among the Muslim immigrant communities. Note also in the article in Christianity Today that many Christian leaders support his selection and look forward to his leadership.             *Top

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