By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture and the Religious Freedom Institute just held a day-long symposium on the persecution of Christians world-wide. Government officials, business leaders, academics, human-rights and religious leaders gathered at the National Press Club to discuss how Christians respond to persecution and promote religious freedom for all. One individual was noticeably missing: The U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

She or he was not there because the post is currently vacant.

The Religious Freedom Institute and Center on Faith and International Affairs in March made the call to appoint an IRF Ambassador as its most important policy recommendation to the administration and Congress. A Feb. 1 letter from over 700 religious leaders, educators, scholars, business leaders and human rights activists prepared by the Wilberforce Initiative similarly did so. As Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, D.C. in his keynote address at the symposium encouraged, these experts “raise their voices to amplify the muffled cries of those who suffer.”

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