Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement on the State Department’s religious freedom ambassador vacancy:
"The resignation of Suzan Johnson Cook, the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for international religious freedom, presents an opportunity for President Obama to commit to making international religious freedom a top priority.
"I was disappointed that it took almost 18 months for the President to nominate Ambassador Cook for this important post, which was created by Congress in the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. This Ambassador heads the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, which monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide and publishes the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom that evaluates the status of religious freedom in 95 countries throughout the world."Religious minorities, especially Christians, are increasingly under attack in places such as Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and elsewhere. I urge the President to fill this vacancy very quickly with a highly qualified individual who will fight to protect this God-given right wherever it is threatened around the globe."