The position for United States ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom is likely to be filled by Rabbi David Saperstein, in a move that was praised by B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin.
Saperstein, one of the most influential rabbis in the United States, currently serves as the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. If he is approved, he will fill a position that has sat vacant for almost a year.
Jewish and Israel news, JNS.org, wrote an article on the nomination, including extensive quotes from Mariaschin.
Read an excerpt of the article below:
Daniel Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, called the nomination an “outstanding choice” and noted the decades during which he has witnessed Saperstein’s work on religious freedom.
“I think David got nominated to this position because of his experience, his expertise, his caring, his sensitivity to these issues, and his being able to speak out,” Mariaschin said. “The commendatory part of this here is that someone who was so deserving and who can do so much good, has been nominated for the position.
"David is very well connected internationally and his reputation, his writings, his speaking—all of those things are known in so much of the world in which we operate and we’re going to operate, so I think that’s a big plus.”
B’nai B’rith’s Mariaschin said a new religious freedom ambassador “is going to be welcomed in a lot of places, and in those places where religious freedom is being abridged, they should know that they’re going to have in our [ambassador] someone who is keeping a very close eye on what they’re doing.” In particular, Mariaschin noted the proliferation of violence against Christians at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria terrorist group, as well as religious persecution in Africa, South Asia, and Iran.
“There are many [instances of religious persecution], it’s almost as if you don’t know where to start, and unfortunately the list is long and it is growing longer,” he said.
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