Last week President Obama nominated an ambassador at large for international religious freedom, a position created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act. The nominee, Suzan Johnson Cook, is a distinguished pastor who will, if confirmed by the Senate, be strongly supported by advocates of religious freedom.
She will need their support.
It appears that the policy Johnson Cook has been nominated to lead is being sidelined even before she takes the job. The Obama administration seems to have decided that other policy initiatives -- outreach to Muslim governments, obtaining China's cooperation, advancing gay rights -- would be compromised by vigorous advocacy for religious freedom. In fact, such a decision would harm the victims of religious persecution, hamstring key Obama initiatives and undermine U.S. national interests.
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