Mr. President, Where Is Our Religious Freedom Ambassador?

Johnnie Moore

As priests are abducted in Crimea, churches burn in Sudan, and American pastors waste away in North Korean prisons, how long will it take this administration to name a new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom?

With the president visiting Saudi Arabia and the first lady visiting China earlier this month, April would have been a prime opportunity to send a message that America values religious freedom, even in the presence of necessary allies with dismal reputations in this regard. This isn’t a Democratic, Republican, liberal, or conservative issue; it’s a matter of common decency and of human rights.

The ambassadorship has been vacant for six months and it has been nearly two months since President Obama stated at the National Prayer Breakfast that he “looks forward to nominating our next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.”

I have personally witnessed the shocking truth of the president’s related statement that “around the world, freedom of religion is under threat.”

– Recently, I was in the West Bank where earlier this year in the village of Deir Istiya, attackers set fire to the local mosque and spray painted hate messages on its walls.

– The same day I was leaving the region, radical Islamists fired at least 40 rockets into the towns of their Jewish neighbors.

– A few weeks ago, as worshippers were gathering in St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria, Boko Haram a militant group trying to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state, attacked the church and killed over 45 parishioners. One of the survivors lost her husband and child in the attack and when interviewed all she could say was, “we saw hell.”

– In the mainly Buddhist nation of Burma, the number of displaced Rohingya Muslims has climbed to more than 150,000; others have been killed at the hands of Buddhist mobs, and all of this has happened since Burma began making it’s move toward “political reform.”

— In the Central African Republic, Christian militias are now responding with unspeakable violence against the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels who notoriously terrorized Christians in the country last year, and on a recent Sunday morning in Mombasa, Kenya, extremists killed 2 Christian church leaders as they sat in the pews of Joy Jesus Church.

– In February, police detained 120 people for attacking a mosque in Bulgaria, throwing stones through the windows and chanting anti-Muslim slogans.

The stories go on and on.

Click here to read more.

Johnnie Moore

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