CFI Welcomes Confirmation of David Saperstein to International Religious Freedom Post

December 16, 2014

The United States Senate last week voted 62-35 to confirm Rabbi David Saperstein as Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of International Religious Freedom at the State Department.

Saperstein, who will fill a position that has been vacant for more than one year, will be the first non-Christian to serve as Ambassador since the post was was created by Congress in 1998. 

“We are delighted that the Senate has finally confirmed David Saperstein,” said Michael De Dora, the Center for Inquiry’s (CFI) Director of Public Policy. “David is extraordinarily well-suited for this position, having spent forty years advocating for religious freedom and, in the process, working with and understanding the concerns of a wide range of religious and secular groups.”

In November, CFI helped lead an effort in which 15 secular organizations signed a letter to Senate leadership urging them to move to expediently confirm Saperstein. CFI again prodded Senate leadership in early December when it joined 34 religious and human rights groups in signing a letter calling for Saperstein’s swift confirmation.  

“With several glaring instances of extremist religious groups wreaking havoc on societies — ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Taliban in Pakistan — and research showing that governmental restrictions on the rights to freedom of religion and belief are on the rise, now more than ever the U.S. needs to take a strong role in advancing religious freedom around the world,” said De Dora. “We are extremely confident David is up to the task, and look forward to working with him to address these issues.”