Lou Ann Sabatier // EEW Magazine Faith & Politics
More than five billion people live in situations where they face high restrictions on their religion and are persecuted for their faith, as violent religious extremism continues to grow around the world.
That's why more than 700 advocates have signed a letter urging President Donald Trump to fill the position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, which is currently vacant.
The Ambassador reports to the Secretary of State and advocates for freedom of religion, which underpins a wide array of human rights, economic interests and national security.
Over the past two decades, it has taken prior administrations an average of 353 days (one year) to secure a nomination for Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. But many are hoping for a quicker response under Trump, who has made religious freedom a priority.
To encourage the administration to move swiftly on a nomination for Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative sent a letter to President Trump that was signed by 715 human rights and international religious freedom advocates.
"There is mounting evidence that countries that maintain broad, plural, and inclusive religious freedom are less prone to violence, less likely to export terrorism, and more likely to grow their overall economy," said Elijah Brown, EVP of 21st Century Wilberforce.
Supporting the most vulnerable around the world through an Ambassador for International Religious Freedom has wide bi-partisan support.
During the next 353 thousands more may be killed for their religious beliefs. On behalf of those persecuted, dying for their faith and languishing in the midst of injustice, those concerned are asking President Trump to show commitment and haste.