The 18,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org) today hailed as a "signal of new hope for persons of faith enduring persecution and oppression" the presidential appointment of Samuel Brownback of Kansas to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Department of State. Mr. Brownback has been Governor of Kansas since 2011.
CMA Vice President for Government Relations Jonathan Imbody said, "Having worked for many years with Gov. Brownback when he served as a US Senator from 1996-2011, I saw up close his commitment to the unalienable right of every person to worship, serve and honor God according to conscience.
"As a person of deep faith who respects persons of all faiths and persuasions, Gov. Brownback brings to this role an empathy, understanding and passion that will advance religious freedom abroad and also serve as an example at home, where religious freedom faces new and significant challenges. This appointment is a tremendous encouragement for religious freedom advocates everywhere, and most importantly, serves as a signal of new hope for persons of faith enduring persecution and oppression."
The Pew Research Foundation has charted an increase globally in "government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion." The Foundation noted "increases in mob violence related to religion, individuals being assaulted or displaced due to their faith, and incidents where violence was used to enforce religious norms."
Through the Christian Medical Association, Mr. Imbody directs Freedom2Care, which focuses on freedoms of faith, conscience and speech in the US.
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