International (MNN) — The United States Senate has confirmed the new Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Rashad Hussain, the first Muslim ever to hold the post, has served in several high positions in the U.S. government, including at the White house.
He brings a history of fighting antisemitism and the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries. The Senate overwhelmingly approved Hussain’s appointment by a 95-5 vote. Sam Brownback, who served in this role under the previous administration, applauded the appointment.
Bruce Allen with FMI says, “He’s respected both among the members of his faith and even outside the members of his faith. Christians that lead other organizations and ministries are applauding this decision.”
Hussain is a devout Muslim, even memorizing the entire Quran in Arabic. He says he has a passion for defending religious minorities, informed by his life in the U.S. as a Muslim.
A challenging position
Allen says, “During his confirmation hearing in the Senate. Hussein cited overall downward trends of religious freedom around the world. He said, ‘A staggering 80% of people worldwide live in environments with high or severe restrictions on religious freedom.’ So That’s not just Christians. Those are the Muslims in China that are being persecuted as well. Those are Jews who are discriminated against around the world. He’s going to be bringing that to the table as well.”
Pray the ambassador is able to help persecuted Christians around the world. Some face the loss of their jobs for following Jesus. Others risk their very lives for owning a Bible. Allen says, “God is calling Muslims. This year at FMI, we’ve seen a record number of people placing their faith in Jesus Christ: nearly 20,000. And that’s just as the fruit of our ministry partners. There are other ministries and their partners as well.”
The header photo shows Rashad Hussain (pictured right) meeting with the President of Afghanistan in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)