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3 evangelicals among latest USCIRF appointees

WASHINGTON (BP) — Three evangelicals are among the latest appointees to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins, FRC founder and American Values President Gary Bauer, and best-selling author and Kairos Company President Johnnie Moore were named to the commission charged with protecting religious freedoms globally.

Richard Land, who advocated for passage for the International Religious Freedom Act that established USCIRF in 1998, applauded the additions.

“You have three evangelical Christians who are now on that board,” Land told Baptist Press, “and all three of them are committed to freedom of conscience and religious freedom around the world.

“This is a very good day for people who care about people who are undergoing persecution for their faith, whatever that faith is, around the world” said Land, former president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Nadine Maenza, executive director of the family advocacy group Patriot Voices, was also among May 15 appointees, as was California State University Associate Professor Tenzin Dorjee, who was named to a second term. Former West Virginia First Lady Gayle Conelly Manchin was appointed in April.

President Donald Trump named Bauer and Moore to the commission. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tagged Perkins.

[IMGONLY=48011@left@40%]Perkins vowed as a USCIRF member to help fully implement the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (Frank Wolf Act), passed in 2016 to strengthen the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA). He also said he would address religious persecution in the 16 nations on USCIRF’s 2018 list of Countries of Particular Concern.

“I look forward to doing all that I can to ensure that our government is the single biggest defender of religious freedom internationally,” Perkins said upon his appointment. “It is my hope that through the work of USCIRF, the world will become one step closer to recognizing the vital role religious freedom and the defense of religious minorities play in peace, security and human flourishing.”

Comments from Bauer and Moore were not available by Baptist Press’ publication deadline.