Obama Pressed to Appoint an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom | Page 71 | Freedom House

Obama Pressed to Appoint an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

Washington
A joint letter signed by more than 25 organizations and individuals was delivered today to President Obama urging him to immediately fill the still-vacant position of U.S. Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom and to make this appointment in conjunction with the announcement of a U.S. strategy for promoting freedom of religion worldwide.
 
The ambassadorship, created by law in 1998, has remained empty since the advent of the Obama Administration, though it is critical to the promotion of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy, according to the signatories to the letter. The group requested that the administration make it an urgent priority to fill the position with a person who is expert in both religion and foreign policy. Additionally, they urged the President to adhere to the legislation by appointing an ambassador who reports directly to the Secretary of State, as do other ambassadors-at-large.
 
“Echoing FDR’s ‘four freedoms’ –in which freedom of belief was a central component – President Obama and Secretary Clinton have recently emphasized the importance of religious freedom as a foundation for democracy and human rights,” said Thomas O. Melia, deputy executive director at Freedom House. “The administration now has an opportunity to affirm its support for the protection of religious freedom by filling the ambassadorship as quickly as possible with a well-qualified person.”
 
 A recent report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life states that 70 percent of the world’s population lives in countries with a “high or very high” degree of restrictions on religion. To view a copy of the letter click here.
 
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.  
 
 
Freedom matters.
Freedom House makes a difference.

www.freedomhouse.org
 

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhouse). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter.