capitol dome section with flagWritten by Don Byrd

On Friday, the U.S. Senate confirmed David Saperstein to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom with a vote of 62 to 35. Saperstein is director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. After his nomination by President Obama earlier this year, the Baptist Joint Committee released a statement of support.

Baptist Joint Committee Executive Director Brent Walker enthusiastically applauded the selection. “Rabbi Saperstein brings theological training and legal expertise, valuable experience serving on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and a passion for religious liberty both in the United States and around the world,” Walker said. “The United States’ commitment to the cause of international religious liberty will be in good hands under Rabbi Saperstein’s tutelage.

“The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the Baptist Joint Committee have worked in partnership for decades in the fight for religious freedom. Rabbi Saperstein and I served as co-chairs of the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, and, in 2006, Rabbi Saperstein was the inaugural lecturer for the Baptist Joint Committee’s annual Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State,” Walker noted.

The Ambassador at Large heads the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.