By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Tuesday of growing religious intolerance in Arab nations that overthrew autocratic governments this year.
Religious leaders and activists from a variety of faiths called for tolerance of one another and said the U.S. government should step up efforts to fight faith-based discrimination and persecution around the world.
The president of Bulgaria this week denounced the American ambassador on Facebook and compared him to a disreputable, 19th-century Russian envoy, as the U.S. Embassy in Sofia scrambled to defuse the diplomatic dispute.
A n important position within the United States State Department remains vacant 26 months into the administration of President Obama. The post of ambassador at large for international reli-
President Obama this week renominated a prominent Christian pastor to serve as ambassador for international religious freedom in a move that reignited a debate over whether she is qualified for the high-profile position that has been vacant for two years.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has long been a small but important jewel in the crown of America's foreign-policy apparatus. From the Sudanese desert to the labyrinthine bureaucracy of Beijing, USCIRF confronts evil, builds bridges and shines the light on religious persecution.
"Everyone should have the right to believe or not believe," said Suzan Johnson Cook, who was confirmed this year as the State Department's ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. "That is their God-given right."
Leaders across the religious spectrum have had dialogue with her and she has stated her commitment to seek to bring people of diverse perspectives to the table for consultation and exchange and to do all that she can to help make the ambassador's role one that better complies with the spirit of the original IRF legislation.