Washington D.C., Jun 23, 2016 / 16:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has a new chairman, and for the first time, the position will be held by a Catholic priest.
Jesuit priest Fr. Thomas Reese was first appointed to a two-year term as a member of the commission by President Barack Obama in 2014, and re-appointed in 2016.
Now he will take over as the chair of the organization, an independent, bipartisan commission that monitors and reviews religious freedom violations around the world, and makes policy recommendations to the Secretary of State, Congress and the president.
“I am honored to serve as USCIRF's Chair and work with my fellow Commissioners in support of freedom of religion or belief,” said Fr. Reese in a statement.
“World events underscore the importance of this fundamental right: A key factor in many of the United States' foreign policy challenges, religious freedom is under serious and sustained attack across much of the globe,” he added.